Think or Thinking

Think or Thinking

By Alena Lien, 

29 August 2018

When we use the verb, "to think," we can imply opinion or consideration by using either the simple or continuous tenses.


Simple tense - I think

If we want to express our opinion or belief, we don't usually use the continuous.

We can express this in the past, present and future.

Past simple:

  • "He thought the presentation could be better."

Present simple:

  • "I think that's a fantastic idea."


  • "What will she think about it?"

Continuous tense - I'm thinking

If we want to expression consideration or contemplation, it is preferable to use the continuous.

We can also express this in the past, present and future.

Past continuous:

  • "He was thinking of changing careers."

Present continuous:

  • "She is thinking of resigning from her job."

Present perfect continuous:

  • "I have been thinking about it."

Future continuous:

  • "I will be thinking about it."

Some exceptions

Both "thinking" and "think" can mean "to contemplate" or "to reflect on."

  • "I've been thinking about it, I think about it all the time."

In the present perfect, it is more likely that it's about consideration rather than opinion.

  • "I have thought about it for a while."