Different Words for ‘to Think’ in Chinese

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Do you know that there are more than one way to express ‘to think’ in Chinese?

1. The most common term for ‘to think’:

Xiǎng

A: bāng wǒ bǎ zuò yè zuò le ba
帮 我 把 作 业 做 了 吧 !      Finish my homework for me!

B: ràng wǒ xiǎng yī xiǎng
让我想一想。。。 Let me think about it…

A: nǐ xiǎng dào shěn me le ma
你 想 到 什 么 了 吗?    Can you think of anything?

B: Wǒ shěn me dōu xiǎng bú dào
 我 什 么 都 想 不 到。   I can’t think of anything.

2. When you take longer time to think:

kǎo lǜ
考虑

A: Péi wǒ chī dùn fàn ba
陪我吃顿饭吧       Come and have a meal with me. 

B: ràng wǒ kǎo lǜ kǎo lǜ
 让我考虑考虑       Let met think about it. 

3. When you need to express your opinion:

rèn wéi/Jué dé 
认为/   觉得

Wǒ rèn wéi/Jué dé  hěn shuài
我 认 为/觉得 BC 很 帅。   I think Benedict Cumberbatch is good looking. 

4. When something is in contrary to your original thought:

yǐ wéi
以为

wǒ yǐ wéi nǐ yào lái lián fàn dōu gěi nǐ zhǔ hǎo le
我以为你要来,连饭都给你煮好了。

I thought you are coming, I even cooked for you. 

5. To think about deep meaningful topic:

Sī kǎo
思考

Wǒ shì yí gè jīng cháng zài sī kǎo rén shēng de rén
我 是 一 个 经 常 在 思 考 人 生 的 人。

I am a person who often in deep thought about life. 

6. A bit more formal than No. 5:

Sī suǒ
思索

zǒng shì zài sī suǒ yǔ zhòu de ào mì
Steven Hawking 总 是 在 思 索 宇 宙 的 奥 秘。

Steven Hawking always in deep thoughts about the mysteries of the universe. 

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