"They were thinking about their children."

Translation:Ils pensaient à leurs enfants.

July 18, 2017

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penser de means "to think about/of", in the sense of "to have an opinion about"; e.g. "What did you think about that movie?" ( « Qu’est-ce que tu as pensé de ce film-là ? » )


Is there a rule of thumb when deciding whether to use à or de?


Unfortunately there is not, especially when it comes to verbs that can use either preposition to change their meaning. It's best to learn these verbs individually with their preposition.

  • penser à = to imagine, to consider
  • penser de = to give an opinion about

In a sense, English is the same way. Take, for example, the verb "to get." Add a preposition and you get a lot of different verbs: get by, get along, get around, get to, get from, get in, get out, get for, get off, etc.


Pensaient? That phrase was brutal..


I would like to know this too..because it seems to me that "de" would have worked in this sentence.


What's wrong with" Ils réfléchissions à leurs enfants."? Can't réfléchir be used for "thinking about"?


I'm not sure if réfléchir could be used in this situation, but it would be "ils réfléchissaient."


Why " Ils ont pensé à leurs enfants" ....is wrong


Because that's not the imparfait/imperfect tense. That'd be passé composé and implies the action happened and then ended. The imparfait ("were thinking") implies the action was a continuous one. They kept thinking about their children and not just thought about their children for a second then stopped suddenly.


merci @georgeoftruth pour le correction: il a dit que "penser à = to imagine, to consider; penser de = to give an opinion about"

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