Student or Learner
Can I say: "What are you thinking about?" (if that sentence is right , is it British or American English grammar?)
There is a difference between think about and think of, that might be interesting for you.
'think of' means 'imagine' something whereas 'think about' tends to mean something closer to 'consider'.
Last edited by Snowcake; 30-Mar-2008 at 13:07. Reason: wrong
Yes, you can say this.
"What are you thinking about?"
"Oh nothing, just how pretty that girl is."
I know that there is no difference in this case. However, in some cases there is a difference between of and about.
Hi Cecile and thanks for your question - prepositions are a very tricky area! This is also what's known as a collocation issue...which means we need to look at which words work best in partnership with 'think of ' and 'think about.'. Basically, 'think of' usually means 'imagine' whereas 'think about' tends to mean something closer to 'consider', so the differences would arise in certain contexts. For example, if I say I'm thinking of a tropical beach, please don't interrupt me! I mean I'm imagining it or daydreaming about it. However, a sentence like 'they're thinking about whether to agree to the sale,' means they're considering the sale. In these cases, it's just natural usage patterns that tend to favour one form over another
But when we are talking about people, we often tend to use them both in a similar way: For example, if my friend had an accident and went to hospital, I might send a card and some flowers with a message which could either read: 'I'm thinking of you,' or 'I'm thinking about you', and the meaning wouldn't be significantly different.
There's even a better way to show the difference between the two (Snowcake provided us with very good examples indeed):
(a meeting in a company facing bankrupting):
As the directing manager, I promise that I shall give a hundred thousand pounds to the person that can think of (= invent/make up) an idea how to get out of the situation we have found ourselves, an idea that we can all think about (= consider).
Thank you, Engee. I do appreciate you being 'round. (sorry, I couldn't resist. I've just listened to The Beatles)
Thanks for providing us with this clear example!