Uses of Pensar, thinking of and thinking about in Spanish

There are a few ways to talk about future actions in Spanish. You can use the “going to work tomorrow” form (Voy a trabajar mañana.) or the future form as well, “I will work tomorrow”, (Trabajaré mañana).

Today, we’ll talk about planning things for the future, using the verb Pensar. But first, a little breakdown of two verbs with a similar meaning and their uses.

Pensar is the verb for to think, though often the verb creer (to believe) is preferred. Use pensar when you have been thinking or to mean to be thinking about in English. If it’s just a simple statement of opinion, use creer.

Pienso en mi novia. – “I’m thinking of (remembering, daydreaming about) my girlfriend.”

Creo que debes estudiar para el examen.I think you should probably study for the exam. (Opinion)

Use Pensar followed by sobre when you’re considering or analyzing a matter.

Pienso sobre mis vacaciones.I’m thinking about (considering, analyzing) my vacation. Perhaps a problem came up i.e. the hotel reservation was cancelled 🙁

Feeling vs opinion:
Pienso que debes irte.It is my feeling that you should go.
Creo que debes irte.You should probably go.  (Again, Creer conveys the idea of an opinion.)

On the other hand, Pensar can also be used to express the intention of doing something like going on a trip, starting to read a new book, visiting a friend and other activities.

Here’s how you use it:

Use Pensar as the main verb of your sentence, followed by a second one in the full form (infinitive):

Pienso ir a la playa el sábado.I’m planning to go to the beach on Saturday.
Pienso viajar a Estados Unidos en junio.I’m planning to go to the United States in June.
Pienso trabajar el domingo.I’m planning to work on Sunday.
¿Qué piensas hacer?What are you planning to do?

Uses of Pensar Basic Quiz

The questions are based on the mini lesson above. So, go over it, then take the quiz below. You can re- take it as many times as you need. There's a comment box at the bottom in case you want to make a comment or ask a question. Have fun!
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