Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

How do you know when to use ‘think of’, ‘think’, or ‘think about?’

Listen in on today’s episode and learn hints on knowing which of these to use.

We’ll share how to use these verbs for the best possible English connection.

Today’s question

Today’s episode is inspired by a listener’s question.

“What is the difference between ‘think of’ and ‘think about?’

– Juan

This is a great question!

We’ll share details about the difference today.

Don’t stress about it!

The All Ears English motto is Connection not perfection.”™

This means that the team encourages you to not get trapped and nervous with the idea that you have to communicate in English perfectly.

Don’t hinder yourself from making great connections because you wanted to be perfect in English.

Keep going and pushing yourself to connect in English.

Grammar is important but don’t let the thought of perfection stop you from connecting with other English speakers.

You can continue to consume English resources to improve your English language skills.

You can check out AEE 1951: Onto or Into? Confusing English Prepositions Explained.

#1: Think

‘Think’ can be used to talk about your opinion or if you are considering something.

This is the umbrella term.

It is the first thing you should understand before the other phrases with the word ‘think.’

Here are some examples:

  • “I think you should give it a chance.”
  • “What do you think?”
  • “I don’t think so.”
  • “I think it must be tough to live in a small town.”

‘Think of’ or ‘think about’

Now let’s differentiate ‘think of’ and ‘think about.’

To ‘think about’ is used to say you are deciding about something.

It can mean you are remunerating about something.

  • remunerate: to keep going back and forth in your mind to decide on something


  • “What are you thinking about?”
  • “I’m thinking about moving abroad.”
  • “I’m thinking about all the work I’m doing later and I’m stressing out”
  • “What do you think about going with me to the show later?”

#2: Think about

Using ‘think about’ is processing and considering something.

It is a much more active way of thinking.

On the other hand, ‘think of’ has a more nostalgic longing when you’re thinking.

It can also be a way to ask for someone’s opinion on something.

Here are some examples using ‘think of’:

  • “What do you think of this dress?”
  • “I’m thinking of moving abroad.”
  • “I think of the possibilities.”

At times ‘think of’ and ‘think about’ can be interchangeable.

However, you have to make sure the meaning and the feeling being conveyed doesn’t change.

In most cases ‘think of’ would have a broader aspect of thinking and a hint of longing and nostalgia when used.

It has a bit of a dreamy feeling.


Here is a quick roleplay from Lindsay and Michelle to better understand how ‘think of’ and ‘think about’ can be used in a conversation.

In this scenario, Lindsay and Michelle are friends and they are deciding on what they are going to do today.

Lindsay: There is a new museum exhibit downtown. What do you think about checking it out?
Michelle: Uhm, I think it’s going to be too crowded.
Lindsay: Maybe you’re right.
Michelle: Hmmm… I’m thinking about taking a quick run. Wanna join?
Lindsay: Nah! I’m tired. But, think of me when you run by that bakery. Maybe pick me up a snack?
Michelle: Okay sure.


When you are learning a new language, it can be very scary to start a conversation with a native speaker.

The All Ears English team encourages you to be brave and connect with native English speakers and not worry about speaking perfectly in English.

Focus on making that connection and not hindering yourself from starting and building relationships in English.

Grammar is important but as long as you start using the new vocabulary and grammar rules in real life, can absolutely help you improve your language skills.

Go ahead and use ‘think of’ and ‘think about’ when you get the chance.

Equip yourself with common words native English speakers use.

What do you think about today’s episode?

Share it in the comments below.

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