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.”

Future: “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.”

* Please note: There are 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.”