Penser + à + infinitive

C

Kwiziq community member

18 November 2015

2 replies

Penser + à + infinitive

In an article on About.com, Laura Lawless explained that no preposition is needed when an infinitive follows "penser" eg "Je pense aller au marché" (http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/penser.htm). So why is it that in the given example "We are thinking about doing our homework" the preposition "à" is used before "faire". The example given is "nous pensons à faire nos devoirs". Isn't that a contradiction? I have found other links that seem to agree with the About.com article: http://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/why-french-verbs-followed-no-not-any-nothing-preposition-infinitive, http://bit.ly/1MAR8H1, http://bit.ly/1SXvroK; but i also encounter a French natives and learners who say you can use the preposition "à" before an infinitive. It seems that without the preposition the sense is someone is close to doing something/intends on doing something (it is already planned) and that with the preposition "à" then idea is someone is just thinking ABOUT doing something. At first I could find nothing to support this theory but today I seem to find such explanations everywhere! http://bit.ly/1WYqT7j. So which is it? If there is more to the topic, can Laura add to it on her page "All About Penser"?

This relates to:
Y can replace à + thing / object / location (adverbial pronoun) -

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

18 November 2015

18/11/15

Bonjour C,


Penser can be followed by à or not, with a very slight difference in meaning.


Penser faire = to consider doing, hope to do


Penser à faire = to have in mind to do


I left About nearly a year and a half ago, but I will keep your question in mind for when I write a new lesson on this topic. (To find my new site, just search for my name and French).

C

Kwiziq community member

19 November 2015

19/11/15

Hi Laura, I am on Lawless French. That is where I posted this question. Is that the site you mean?

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