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03 / 03 / 2009

THINK OF-1: meaning and examples

Good morning.

Today we answer a question from one of our readers.

Hi, Could you explain the difference between "think in" and "think of". It is confusing for me. Thanks. Pilar Valderrama.

In English there are lots of expressions that use the verb think (pensar). Following are some examples. 

EXPRESSIONS: come to think of it; think nothing of it; think on your feet; think straight, etc.

There are also a lots of phrasal verbs that use the verb think

PHRASAL VERBS: think of (something/somebody); think out; think over; think up; think through; think about, etc.

But to answer Pilar's question, first it's important to realise that a phrasal verb is a verb plus an adverbial particle, which is considered part of the verb (see series of Daily Vitamins about phrasal verbs from October 2004). As far as I know, think in is not a phrasal verb. It's a verb (think) followed by a preposition (in).

Example 1:
I have been living in Spain for so long that now I dream and think in Spanish. It's amazing, I hardly ever think in English anymore.

Think of, on the other hand, is a phrasal verb. To make things more confusing, it is normally translated into Spanish as pensar en.  

Over the next few days we will look at different meanings and examples with the phrasal verb think of.

In the meantime, if you think of (=remember something) any questions that you may have about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (

Enjoy the rest of your day!

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