1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "I am thinking of her."

"I am thinking of her."

Translation:J'ai une pensée pour elle.

November 17, 2017

41 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mammad99

I just got an email from Duo informing me Je pense à elle is going to be accepted as a correct answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/georgeoftruth

Great. Nice to be able to confirm that the email is really automatic. Thanks for the report.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mckimjan

Could 'j'ai des pensees pour elle" be correct (with the correct accent in pensees, of course).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/georgeoftruth

"Une pensée" is enough when thinking about a person.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mckimjan

to me, thinking about a person (singular) usually means having many separate thoughts (plural) about that person.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisaskier

It is now accepted :] I am surprised though as I didn't think you could have "à" followed by a word beginning with a vowel "Elle" .

18/3/18


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zaheershaik

Why not - je pense pour elle? Isn't - J'ai une pensée pour elle - past tense = I thought about her.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

No, it is not past tense. Pensée here is a feminine noun meaning "thought" or (way of) "thinking". It is always constructed using avoir not être, similar to stating your age etc:

J'ai trente ans → "I am 30 years old" (Lit "I have 30 years")
J'ai faim → "I am hungry" (Lit "I have hunger")
J'ai soit → "I am thirsty" (Lit "I have thirst")
and
J'ai une pensée pour elle → "I am thinking of her" (Lit "I have a thought for her").

I would have thought it could also be constructed as Je pense à elle.

NB: Penser à does not take a preceding COI pronoun if the object of à is a person. It takes à + a disjunctive (stressed) pronoun.

I'd appreciate any corrections or clarifications. Merci.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UmaObasi

I would have thought it could also be "Je pense à elle"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mammad99

Thumbs up. I am in agreement with most of what you said. Only one tiny clarification about the COI pronoun since you asked. Just that the peculiarity about the verb penser (penser à, penser de) applies to every object, both living or inanimate . It has nothing to do with the transitivity of the verb neither. As you correctly pointed out one cannot say "je lui pense " and has to say je pense à elle or je pense à ma voiture. on the contrary, one can say "je lui demande, je l'appelle (transitive), je lui telephone (intransitive), je l'ai pris au garage (inanimate) ... etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

But, am I correct to assume that, if we are referring to quelque chose, we can use the structure J'y pense for "I am thinking of it" ? Merci.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mammad99

Thanks for the rectification. you are absolutely correct. I have learned not to make comments next time in a rush or when exhausted. here is a lingot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

Merci de la clarification. And, yeah, I stuff up all the time when either in a rush &/or tired. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mammad99

(Eons later) : je le pense is also correct ÷)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chriswalli8

Qu'est ce que c'est, 'a COI pronoun'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/georgeoftruth

COI is complément d'objet indirect. In English grammar terms, an indirect object.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aussie3931

Hi mammad99. I hope you don't mind a correction to your post. It is my understanding that one cannot end a sentence with the word 'neither'. It should read: 'It has nothing to do with the transitivity of the verb either'. Here is a reference: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/186875/neither-vs-either-in-a-negative-statement Bon courage !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mammad99

Je pense à elle was not accepted. I reported it.

Actually "J'ai une pensée pour elle " translates back to "I have a thought for her," which is not quite the same thing. Even assuming that one wanted to argue it, that still would not preclude the first response being correct as well.


[deactivated user]

    The drop-down list of possible translations for "of" in this sentence doesn't even mention "à" or "pour".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/georgeoftruth

    It does now. As with some reverse sentences, it's not easy to map back the hints to less common sentence constructions. "Je pense à elle" would be the most straightforward translation of "I am thinking of her."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jmscott43

    I wrote, "je pensée d'elle." Is there a reason why "d'" can not be used?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/georgeoftruth
    • "Je pense de" means "I have an opinion about"
    • "Je pense à" means "I have in my mind"
    • You also do not have a proper verb form in your translation.

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chriswalli8

    The version I have gives a word bank without the correct words. There does not seem to be a way of reporting this.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/georgeoftruth

    The computer requires you to form either of the following translations:

    • J'ai une pensée pour elle.
    • Je pense à elle.

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lmparis49

    what about: j'y la pense


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/georgeoftruth

    Not correct. You have used two pronouns to refer to the same object. Also, you cannot use "y" to refer to a person. In this case, you must keep the "à" and the stressed pronoun "elle" after the verb "pense".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonCampbel7

    Je pense de lui. C'est faux, oui ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/georgeoftruth

    The tonic pronoun "lui" is masculine. Him.

    Also, to think about someone is "penser à". "Penser de" is to have an opinion about something.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thetomgentry

    Why does « Je lui pense » not work?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/georgeoftruth

    That is not the proper form, I'm afraid, as "penser à" does not allow for an indirect object pronoun to precede it. So when you use "penser à" + person, it must remain in that form.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/realskiasaurus

    Is that a rule specific to "penser à"? Are there other verb + preposition constructions to which it applies?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

    FRENCH VERBS AND EXPRESSIONS THAT DON'T ALLOW A PRECEDING INDIRECT OBJECT PRONOUN

    en appeler à → to appeal to, address

    avoir affaire à → to have to deal with

    avoir recours à → to have recourse to

    croire à → to believe in

    être à → to belong to

    faire allusion à → to allude to

    faire appel à → to appeal to, address

    faire attention à → to pay attention to

    s'habituer à → to get used to

    penser à → to think of, about

    recourir à → to have recourse to

    renoncer à → to give up, renounce

    revenir à → to come back to

    rêver à → to dream of

    songer à → to think, dream of

    tenir à → to be fond of, care about

    venir à → to come to

    NB: These French verbs and expressions do not allow a preceding indirect object pronoun, and what to use instead depends on whether the COI is a person or a thing. When the indirect object is a person, you must keep the preposition à after the verb, and follow it with a stressed pronoun.

    From: https://www.thoughtco.com/french-indirect-objects-1368865


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krista189497

    why not " j'ai une pensee d'elle"...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

    "To have a thought for someone" → avoir une pensée pour quelqu'un is a fixed expression.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonasTranc1

    Why can't I use "J'y pense."?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

    That means "I am thinking of it".

    With certain verbs y replaces the preposition à when its object is an idea or thing, but not a person. Some of these verbs are penser à, réfléchir à, s'intéresser à, répondre à, participer à.

    When these verbs are followed by a person, the disjunctive pronoun needs to be used, in this case elle.
    "Je pense à elle " is an accepted response.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ripcurlgirl

    Pas de problème.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Drrudslk

    I think it would be nice to always translate directly so as to understand the construction.

    Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.