Posted by: lyonenglishnetwork | October 18, 2012

Think, think about, penser, réfléchir…

Today, I was in a lesson and we came across the subject of “think” and “think about…”. These two verbs are different in English, one is a phrasal verb, the other not and they have different meanings.

For example, you can say:

What do you think ? 


What are you thinking about ? 

In French too, penser is different to réfléchirPenser is a shorter action whereas réfléchir (think about) takes longer. However, for my French students it was very clear to them that penser was different to réfléchir because the labels are different – I mean, the words are different. Research has been done about this recently. It seems to me that language acts like a lens on how we see the world. In French, the difference is very clear but in English think and think about don’t seem very different because they use the same word.

I hope I made you réfléchir!



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