1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "J'y pense."

"J'y pense."

Translation:I am thinking about it.

December 28, 2012



Merci beaucoup! Tu m'aides!


I got this wrong so did some research. The key to understanding it is first to recognize that "penser à" means to think about (consider). So for example "Je pense à mon chien" would be "I am thinking about my dog".

"y" is used as a pronoun when referring to something previously spoken about that uses the verb + à construction. So for example if referring to thinking about a dog using "it" you would say the above "J'y pense".

Note that "penser de" means to think about in the sense of "having an opinion about" and would use "en" instead of "y" for the pronoun. "penser de" shows up as: "penser adverbe [especially bien=well, mal=ill] de substantif" — "to think adverb of noun". (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/penser) so it seems unlikely to ever have "J'en pense" on it's own (which is what I initally answered).


Thank you. “"I think well of it." would be "J'en pense bien."” (No, Sitesurf has the correct form below and I always defer to Sitesurf.). We probably would not say "I think well about it." so that one is fairly safe, but otherwise we often exchange "of it" and "about it", making this hard to navigate without your information. Prepositions often don't translate well. Sometimes we use one preposition in English and they use a completely different one in the French expresssion. Sometimes one of the two languages doesn’t even use a preposition when the other does.

Sitesurf, below, has even more information. French specifically requires "de" sometimes and other times uses "à" and we need to learn when to use each and replace "de..." with "en" and "à..." with "y".

https://dictionary.reverso.net/french-english/en%20pense https://dictionary.reverso.net/french-english/pense


I think well of it : J'en pense du bien.


Wow! Mind blown! They use a noun form for well? I mean we can wish someone well and we can wish someone the best, but the last is a bit unusual. It is our superlative form of the adjective “good” and is short for “the best of everything.”

Where would we be without you, Sitesurf? Thank you so much!

It sounded familiar to me right away, but see, I didn’t have it down, even though I had probably heard it before.

Opinions in French do take some getting used to. So, the opposite would be “J’en pense du mal.” ?

Thank you, again, for below! So much useful information!


Exactly so. "Le bien et le mal" are nouns, just as "the good and the bad".

"Un bien" is also a possession as in "Je lègue tous mes biens à mes enfants" = I leave all my property to my children. It is also used in real estate: "un bien situé à l'étranger" = property located abroad.


(I took French classes before as well as used Pimsleur, which this is in the first 15 lessons somewhere) I'm very confident that this sentence should be "J'en pense", which means I think about it. The pronoun "y" is to signify a place. "J'y vais." I go there. "Allons-y." Let's go there. (Also meaning, "Let's go!") Etc. "En" is to signify a thing, whether it is tangible or not. "Tu en mange." I eat it. "Vous en buvez?" You drink it? If anything, this sentence could more precisely be said as, "Je pense ca." (With the cedilla.)


That is an interesting question. I will try to clarify that for you.

PENSER can be constructed with 2 prepositions: "de" and "à" - Ce que j'en pense = ce que je pense DE quelque chose ou quelqu'un (mentioned before) = what I think of it/him/her... (and also what I think about it/him/her/them...) - J'y pense = je pense A quelque chose (mentioned before) = I think about it.

So, with that verb, you have understood that EN means DE+ object and Y means A (accented) + object.

PENSER can also be constructed with a direct object (no preposition needed) - je pense ça - je pense la même chose que toi

ALLER is constructed with preposition "à" - j'y vais = je vais là (destination mentioned before) = I am going there

MANGER & BOIRE are constructed with a direct object (countables) or preposition "de" (uncountables) - j'en mange = je mange DU (pain) or DE (la soupe) or DES (pommes) - j'en bois = je bois DU (vin) or DE (l'eau) or DES (bières)


My question is: Could not it be 'je pense' as in 'I am thinking', where 'think' is intransitive? Impossible in French?


"je pense" translates in "I think" or "I am thinking".


Thanks, in that case, based on the audio (you simply do not hear 'y') that should also be considered correct. I am saying this, because it was not accepted.


The y can be heard.. Je pense is pronounced like "juh" and J'y is pronounced more like "gee" with rounded lips.


You can't hear they y sound until you know it's there, then you can. Which means it was there all along, just missed it. I hate it when that happens.


I too have made the mistake of thinking that 'y' usually translates literally as 'there', and sitesurf's (and others') explanations have helped me to understand my error. However, I cannot accept Duo's 'Correct Solution' to translating 'J'y pense', which it gives as 'I assume of it'. Not only do the hints give no indication that 'pense' can mean 'assume', (can it?), but it is also dreadful English. I have reported it, but I'm still not quite clear why 'I think about it' should be 'J'y pense' rather than 'J'en pense', if 'penser' can take 'a' (plus accent) or 'de'?


"tu sais ce que j'en pense" = you know what I think of it (him/her/them) = you know my opinion about that.

"tu sais que j'y pense" = you know that I am thinking about it

"tu sais que je le pense" = you know that I think what I have just said

"tu sais ce que je pense ?" = do you know what I think?

Q: "crois-tu qu'il est chez lui ? - A: "je pense" (je pense, oui; je pense que oui) = Q: do you think he is at his place? - A: "(yes), I think so"


Extremely helpful - thank you! Beginning to get a feel for the usage, I hope. But I stilI can't accept 'I assume of it'...


Sitesurf, I thought it meant "I think it", but it says this is wrong, so what's the difference between "I think it" and "I think of it"?

Would "I think it" be "Je pense ca"?


I think it = je le pense, je pense ça (this is what I think, my opinion)

I think of/about it = j'y pense, je pense à ça (this is the subject of my thoughts)


Ah I see. Merci beaucoup.


Could it not be "I think so"?


No, in French they say “Je pense que oui.” for that, as Sitesurf mentioned to someone else.


y= there? So why can't it be I think there?


"y" stands for something said before, and replaces " à " something.

Penses-tu à ton chien? J'y pense = je pense à lui, je pense à mon chien.

To think about something = penser à quelque chose


I was asked to translate "J'y pense" to English. I wrote "I think of there." Is that not possible? For instance, "je pense à ma ville"?


"y" does not always mean "there" (in "il y a", it does).

This pronoun is used when the verb is constructed with preposition "à", to refer to something or someone mentioned before: j'y pense = je pense à celà/lui, elle...(I think of that/him...)

Note that the principle is the same with pronoun "en", when the verb is constructed with preposition "de": tu sais ce que j'en pense = tu sais ce que je pense de cela/lui, elle... (you know what I think about it/him...)


I feel like this sentence would have been better after seeing the sentence beforehand because to an untrained listener it sounds like "je".


After losing a few hearts I developed the ability to hear the difference between j'y and je.


I put "I'll think about it" like an answer when someone suggests something to you and you say "I'll think about it". I think in Spanish and Italian you would use the present: ci penso, lo pienso. So if "I'll think about it" is not a correct translation for "j'y pense" when someone suggests something and you want to think it over, what would it be?


j'y pense (present) = I think about it

je suis en train d'y penser (continuous present) = I'm thinking about it

I'll think about it (future) = j'y penserai

I'm going to think about it (near future) = je vais y penser

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