Are these sentences correct:

1) I am thinking about a car for driving to work.

2) I am thinking about a car to drive to work in.

3) I am thinking about a robot for cleaning the house.

4) I am thinking about a robot to clean the house.

5) I am thinking about a car for us to go to work in.

Do they mean:

a) I am thinking about which car/robot to get for the purpose mentioned


b) I am just considering the possibility of getting a car/robot for the purpose mentioned


c) I am making my mind up to get a car/robot for the purpose mentioned or....



1 Answer 1


Without more specific words in the sentence, none of your three meanings can be universally implied, out of context. And, since you haven't given any context, that's what we must assume.

All of your sentences mean that you are generally thinking about these devices. There is no implication of picking a model or of purchasing one.

To imply version a, you need something like:

I'm considering which [kind/type of] car I should get that is good for driving to work.
I'm trying to decide which house cleaning robot to buy.

Using words like "considering" or "deciding" tells the reader/listener what you are doing. Emphasizing your decision making process by using "which" tells them that you have several options to choose from. Without, it's simply a yes/no situation, though it needs a slight word order change.

For version b, you need an verb in addition to "thinking".

I'm thinking about getting/buying a car for going to work.
I'm thinking of buying a robot to clean the house.

When you have decided to get something, using "thinking" is no longer appropriate.

I have decided to get/buy a car so that I may more easily get to work.
I've decided to buy a robot that will clean my house.

  • Thank you for your reply. I've been thinking about this. The question is whether the sentences work at all. I'd also like to know if they COULD have those meanings in context.
    – azz
    Jun 2, 2017 at 21:46
  • They're certainly not idiomatic. I'm not sure why you'd want to say something that's unclear what you mean. English is extremely flexible. Many, many things are possible and may be understood. That doesn't make them good ways of speaking.
    – Catija
    Jun 2, 2017 at 21:50

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