English prepositions after the verb THINK

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Don’t say “I’m thinking to buy a new car.”

The correct way is “I’m thinking about buying a new car.”

There are actually multiple prepositions we can use after the verb “think,” but what’s the difference between them? That’s what you’ll learn in today’s lesson.

How can you improve your grammar so that you don’t make mistakes with prepositions? I have resources for all levels – from my Basic & Intermediate Grammar E-Books to my Advanced Grammar Course. These lessons will explain English grammar clearly, so you can understand and use it confidently!

English prepositions after the verb THINK Espresso English

English prepositions after the verb THINK Espresso English

All right, let’s learn about all these different words we can use after “think.”

Think about / Think of

The two most common prepositions used after the verb “think” are “about” and “of.” They are very similar, but there is a small difference.

Usually when you “think of something,” it is a brief moment – just a few seconds. It is also used for opinions. When you “think about something” you are considering it for a longer time – like a few minutes or more.

Every time I hear this song, I think of my mother.
(thinking for a few seconds)

What do you think of my new haircut?

I’m thinking about moving to a different city.

I still get angry when I think about all the rude things my sister said to me.
(thinking for a few minutes or more)

Common error: Don’t use “think to” for “considering.”

  • I’m thinking to do an intensive English course in Canada.
  • I’m thinking about doing an intensive English course in Canada.

Think over / Think through

Use the prepositions “over” and “through” when you need to consider a topic carefully or think about it for a longer time (hours, days, or weeks).

  • I’m not sure which course I want to take. Let me think it over for a while.
  • I’ll need some time to think through your proposal. Can I call you back next week?

Think ahead / Think back

The preposition “ahead” is used for thinking about the future:

  • We need to think ahead at least five years if we want our company to have long-term success.

The preposition “back” is used for thinking about the past:

  • I like to think back on my college years; that was a great time in my life.

Think up

“Think up” is an expression that means to imagine, invent, or create an idea.

  • We need to think up a way to distract Laura while we plan her surprise party.
  • I spent half an hour trying to think up a good excuse for why I was late to work.
  • Let’s think up some new strategies for increasing sales.

Think to

“Think to” is most frequently used with “myself” – when you think about something, but you don’t say it or share it with any other person. “Think to myself” is often followed by a direct statement of the thought.

  • Whenever I’m in a meeting at work, I think to myself, “This is a huge waste of time.”

“Didn’t think to” can also be used when something did not even enter your mind.

  • Sorry I didn’t see your message – I didn’t think to check my e-mail before I left the house.
  • I’m annoyed because all my friends went to the movies and didn’t think to invite me.

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English prepositions after the verb THINK Espresso English

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