"I think the same thing as you."
Translation:Yo pienso lo mismo que tú.
A friend gave me a couple of examples, though I'm not sure whether they confirm or deny what you said..
No importa cual auto elijas, es lo mismo, seguro es re trucho - it doesn't matter which car you choose, it's the same, surely it will be very bad.
Este error es el mismo que este otro - this error is the same as this other one.
I think the problem is that in English we say "the same" for two separate concepts, both 'there's no practical difference between these two things' and 'these two things are identical', and in Spanish there are two forms.
My experience was that when I was learning Spanish (and a smidge of Latin and German), from middle school up through university, comparing how different languages handled things like this greatly deepened my understanding of what was going on in English. I didn't really understand the difference between "who" and "whom" until I learned German's "wer / wen / wem".
Some of the rules seem arbitrary at first, but if you just keep using the language and comparing stuff, not only do they start to make intuitive sense, you start explicitly understanding some of the weird usage rules you already knew implicitly about your native tongue. :-)
"Some of the rules seem arbitrary at first, but if you just keep using the language and comparing stuff, not only do they start to make intuitive sense, you start explicitly understanding some of the weird usage rules you already knew implicitly about your native tongue."
Same experience for me, except I was learning French from grade 4 up to university. :-)
No, "lo mismo que" is not a "compound preposition". "Lo mismo" is an abstract noun phrase, with "lo" being a determiner (same family as "the", "a", and others), and "mismo" is an adjective that's basically being noun-ified in context. The part-of-speech for "que" is... debatable. It's the same as the "that" in, "I think the same thing that you think." Merriam-Webster considers it a conjunction; some linguists further divide its functions, identifying separate usages ("compartmentalizer" or "subordinating conjuction" versus "relativizer", depending on whether you're talking about a subordinate or relative clause).
In any case, "ti" is wrong here, because the "you" is the subject of an implied clause, not the object of any verb or preposition.
Dictionary supports my comment - http://www.wordmagicsoft.com/dictionary/es-en/lo%20mismo%20que.php
There is a lot more to mismo than I thought. It can be an adjective, pronoun or adverb. Here's a link to read more if you are the curious type like myself.
Trust me It didn't seem right to me even (looking at it now I don't even know if la is correct or if misma is but I guess it is unless the native speaker you know corrected any of it possibly?). I'm guessing even with pienso it would sound odd since "lo mismo que" is an idiom I believe. I'm somewhat surprised it was even understandable and I won't keep it in the memory banks. Thanks.
As ricky_clarkson says, you seem to be confusing the use of "lo" as an object pronoun, with its use as a neuter article, to turn adjectives into nouns. See the second class of uses here: http://spanish.about.com/od/sentencestructure/a/lo.htm
"Lo mismo" translates as something like "the same (abstract) thing(s)". You can do the same thing (heh) with other adjectives. So, "lo mejor" means "the best (thing)", "lo blanco" might in some contexts mean "white things" as a class, etc.
And then there's the "lo [adj] que" construction... http://spanish.about.com/od/adjectives/a/lo_unusual.htm
I'd argue that "yo creo" is actually a better translation for most contexts where I can imagine using that English sentence.
"Creer" means "to think" in the sense of "to believe". Pensar connotes the act of thinking, as in an exchange like, "Come on, make a decision!" "Wait a sec, I'm thinking!"
If I say "I think the same as you," it means I hold the same belief about something -- hence, "yo creo", not "yo pienso".
I think (heh) that "pensar en" is "to think about" or "to contemplate". OTOH, "pensar que" could be used for something like "I think that", but would suggest that what you're talking about is an opinion rather than an assertion about objective reality. If you're talking about your beliefs about reality, "creer que" would probably be a better choice.