Spanish verbs with prepositions: “Pensar en…”, “pensar sobre…”

pensar en spanish verbs 1

The verb “pensar” is one of the most important Spanish verbs. It’s not only because it helps us express what we believe or think but also because we can combine it with other words to build useful structures.

Native speakers often use “pensar en”, for example, as an equivalent to “to think about” in a way to express that they have their minds focused on something.

“Pensar en” has become a controversial phrase among Spanish learners because many people think they can use it in the sense of having an opinion. Yet, it is not correct to use “pensar” that way.

If you often hesitate about how you should use the verb “pensar” and how to use phrases like “pensar en”, you must keep reading this article.

Here, we will explain how to properly use the verb “pensar” as well as the Spanish phrase “pensar en”.

How to use “pensar”

“Pensar” is the Spanish word for “to think”.

We can use the verb “pensar” to express our thoughts or to say that we have our minds busy and focused on something. Usually, it also helps us to talk about what we believe and express our opinions.

It’s common to see “pensar” together with other words as we generally use it with prepositions like “de”, “que”, and “en”. Depending on what you want to say, you’ll need to use different “pensar” structures as they all have different purposes.

Still, in all cases, you’ll need to conjugate “pensar” in the right Spanish tense. For that reason, we will show you how to do it.

“Pensar” is an irregular verb in the present tense. Therefore, we have to change its root from “pens-“ to “piens-“ depending on the personal pronoun we use. On the flip side, in other Spanish tenses, it’ll keep the root “pens-“.

Since “pensar” only changes in the present tense, we will show you how to conjugate it in the indicative form.

Verb conjugation
Pensar To think
Yo pienso I think
Tú piensas You think
Él/Ella/Usted piensa He/She/You (formal) thinks/think
Nosotros pensamos We think
Vosotros pensais You (plural) think
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes piensan They/You (plural) think

Please note that the only two pronouns that don’t need to change pensar’s root are “nosotros” and “vosotros”.

Using “pensar” alone in a sentence isn’t common. When we do it, we often use “pensar” as a noun or to build phrases like “pensar mal” or “pensar bien”.

Here are some examples:

Pensar y luego existir es una filosofía que muchos deberian aplicar.

Thinking and then existing is a philosophy that many should apply.

No pienso mal de ellos.

I don’t think bad of them.

En muchos casos, el que piensa demasiado siente poco.

In many cases, who thinks too much feels too little.

How to use “pensar en”

It’s common to fall in love and keep our heads busy thinking about our loved ones.

In English, we can use “to think about” to express that we got our heads busy and focused thinking on someone or something. Also, it may also be helpful to say that we got an opinion.

As we said, we can use “pensar” en as an equivalent to “to think about”. However, we do it in a sense of having our thoughts busy and focused on someone or something.

So, if you fall in love, don’t be afraid of using phrases like “pienso en tí”. After all, there’s no doubt that it’ll help you achieve your goal.

Apart from being romantic, “pensar en” can help you talk about other topics. In almost every case, we use “pensar” together with a noun.

Thus, the formula you can use to build sentences is the following:

Subject + “pensar en” + article (definite or indefinite) + noun

Using a verb after “pensar en” is also possible. Nonetheless, it has to be in the infinitive form as it plays a noun’s role.

Here are some examples:

Pensamos en hablar.

We think about talking

Pienso mucho en carros porque me gusta la formula 1.

I think a lot about cars because I like Formula 1.

Pensaste mucho en bañarte.

You thought a lot about taking a bath

We can build negative sentences by placing “no” before “pensar en”.

Let’s have a look at the examples shown below:

Me gusta comer, pero no pienso en la comida todo el tiempo.

I like to eat, but I don’t think about food all the time.

Tu comentario me parece fuera de lugar y, por eso, no pienso cambiar.

Your comment seems out of place and, therefore, I do not intend to change myself.

How to use “pensar sobre”

“Pensar sobre” is an Spanish alternative to “pensar en”. It basically has the same meaning, but it’s way less common. Most Spanish learners overuse it because when translating “to think about”, they will frequently get “pensar sobre” as a result.

Just like with “pensar en”, we use “pensar sobre” with nouns and verbs. Here, the verb following “pensar sobre” should be in the infinitive form.

There’s a difference between using “pensar en” and “pensar sobre”, but before we explain it see the sentences below:

Pienso en tí.

I think of you.

Pienso sobre tí.

I think about you.

Pensamos en correr una maratón.

We think of running a marathon.

Pensamos sobre correr una maratón.

We think about running a marathon.

As you may realize, the way these examples are structured is quite the same. Nothing changes, but “en” and “sobre”.

Nevertheless, when we use (“pensar en” + verb + complement), we express that we have our thoughts focused on an activity and we are willing to do it.

On the other side, the point of view with “pensar sobre” is different. There’s no doubt that it also helps us express that we got our minds busy with an activity or action. Even so, we are evaluating the scenario and alternatives instead of being willing to do it.

Spanish tips for verbs

In conclusion, “pensar” is a very useful verb we can use together with prepositions like “de”, “en”, and “que”. Depending on the structure we use, we will be able to express our opinions or say why our thoughts are busy.

If you want to be romantic, “pensar en” is definitely your best resource. Also, you can’t forget that “pensar” is an irregular verb in the present tense. So, its root will change when conjugating it.

Keep in mind that if you use (“pensar en” + noun) or (“pensar en” + verb), you may need to add an article before the noun or conjugate the verb in the infinitive form.

Related Posts

AP Spanish Language Practice

Looking to improve your Spanish skills to take your AP exam? Getting the highest score is just a click away! Find the best AP Spanish

English vs Spanish Language

Are you an English speaker and looking to learn Spanish? As siblings descended from Romance languages, they naturally share similarities. Check them out in our

French and Spanish Language Comparison

Do you wanna know how the two most passionate languages are similar? Let’s talk about the differences and similarities between these romance languages! Welcome to

When did Kobe Learn Spanish

Loving father, ideal husband, amazing man, successful Lakers player, businessman, and he also speaks Spanish! Do you know who he is? How could he do

ALTA Spanish Language Test Questions

Are you taking your ALTA language exam? Don’t let it catch you off guard. Check out the ALTA Spanish Language Test Questions for your high

I Hate the Spanish Language

Do you think Spanish is a beautiful and linguistically rich language? What about the negative opinions that hinder your choice to learn it as a

Get a Certificate in French Language

If you ask yourself why should you take the certification course in French, we’ll help you decide in which cases is useful and in which

What does “Doux” mean in French?

Discover the meaning of “doux” in French and its various uses. Learn how to use this common word in everyday conversation and improve your French

Need in French: Avoir Besoin

It’s in the human need to have needs, right? Learning how to express your needs in French is by all means an important step in

German riddles

Looking for some fun ways to practice your German language skills? Check out our collection of German riddles and tongue twisters! Test your wit and

Cheers in French: 8 happy ways to say it

Celebrate in French style! This blog showcases 8 happy ways to say “cheers” in French, perfect for impressing your French-speaking friends. Santé! How to say

Different Ways to Use Fois in French

Fois is a very common French word, used in different contexts. English speakers oftentimes confuse it with the word “temps”. In this lesson, you’ll learn

Funniest French jokes

In this article, we will share some of the funniest French jokes  that will have you laughing out loud. Let’s get started! Funniest French jokes

Funniest Spanish jokes

¡Hola! You’re in for a treat if you love to laugh and speak Spanish. We’ve compiled a list of the funniest Spanish jokes that will

Jokes about French

In this article, we’ll explore the humorous side of French culture through a collection of jokes about French. Let’s get started! Jokes about French Welcome

News in French: free resources

In this article, we will explore a variety of websites, podcasts, TV channels, and other resources that you can use to stay informed about news

Short German jokes

Laugh your way through language learning with our collection of short German jokes. Discover the funniest puns, one-liners, and more in our guide! German humor

The basic Spanish hand gestures

In this blog post, we will explore the most important Spanish hand gestures, and their meanings, providing a guide to effectively communicate with Spanish speakers

Beautiful French words with meaning

Discover the beauty of the French language by learning its meanings. Learn the beautiful French words and its meaning. Beautiful French words A lot of

How do you say “good” in French?

Learn how to say “good” in French with our easy guide. Perfect for beginners and travelers looking to improve their language skills. “Good” in French

How to say “Cat” in French

How to say cat in French? What’s the word for a kitten in French? Learn more about the basic terminologies of our favorite fur pet

Learn French with PDF resources

Do you know that you can learn French with PDF resources? In this article, we will explore the advantages of using PDF resources to learn

Funny French jokes

Welcome to our article on Funny French jokes! Are you ready to simultaneously laugh and learn a little bit about French culture? French humor can

Funny German jokes

Welcome to our article on Funny German jokes! Get ready to chuckle at some of the funniest German jokes. German jokes Germany has a rich

Quotes in France by famous people

In this article, we will explore some of the most memorable and inspiring quotes in France from French people that have been passed down through

Quotes in Spain by famous people

In today’s post, you’ll learn some famous quotes in Spain by famous people. Quotes in Spain Spain has a rich cultural history and has produced

Best German proverbs

This article will explore some of the most popular German proverbs and delve into their meanings and origins. Check this out! German proverbs German proverbs

French Riddles

Learning some French riddles and playing with a French-speaking friend are great ways to practice if you know a little French. French riddles A good

How to translate Good Evening in French

Welcome to our article on translating “Good Evening” into French! Suppose you’re planning a trip to a French-speaking country or want to impress your friends

Some facts about the French mafia

Let’s discover some facts about the French mafia. facts about the French mafia The French Mafia is one of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations.

Some facts about the Spanish mafia

Let’s discover some facts about the Spanish mafia. Facts about the Spanish mafia The Spanish mafia is one of the most active and widespread criminal

Some facts about the German mafia

Let’s discover some facts about the German mafia.  Facts about the German mafia The German Mafia (; Maffia; from Italian mafiusi, “clan”) is a criminal