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I want to buy a house. so I'm thinking now what and how can I buy ...

What is the correct preposition with "I'm thinking * buying"? I use Google books and I found the following:

I love my place in France and I'm thinking on buying one in Florida ... link

I'm thinking about buying a place in Manhattan ... link

I'm thinking of buying a tie and can't decide which of these two. link

In my following dialog, which one should I use? if all of them are correct, which one is commonly used?

I want to ask my friend to advise:

I'm thinking of / about / on buying a house, you bought one before ... what do you advise?

  • "Of" and "about" are most common. "On" has a slightly different meaning and sounds more colloquial. – Andrew Mar 8 '17 at 22:23
  • On is definitely uncommon I'd consider using it only in: I'm thinking on a new project; I'm thinking on a new book. – SovereignSun Apr 11 '17 at 13:42
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Of and about are by far the most common, and mean essentially the same thing.

In fact, when we look specifically for "I'm thinking * buying", any other choice is so rare it might as well not exist. The author you quote as writing "I'm thinking on buying..." might be using a regionalism.

  • I might be wrong but I remember reading that "of" goes mostly with living things while "about" goes with object. So it's: I'm thinking about buying a house. And I'm thinking of buying her a present. – SovereignSun Apr 10 '17 at 15:47
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    @SovereignSun: bear in mind that what you are thinking about, in both cases, is an abstract concept: the idea of buying something. Regardless of what you want to buy, the "buying something" is still an abstract concept. – JavaLatte Apr 10 '17 at 16:04
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    @SovereignSun: if you compare thinking about X vs thinking of X (no buying involved), then about is more common than of for both dogs and houses. books.google.com/ngrams/… – JavaLatte Apr 10 '17 at 16:09
  • @SovereignSun: Good observation, although I'm not sure it's 100% accurate - consider, for example, the phrase "I'm thinking of a number..." – stangdon Apr 11 '17 at 13:38
  • @stangdon Maybe, just maybe, of also conveys the meaning of "just now; at this moment"? While about conveys "often, sometimes; not exactly now, but maybe now too"? – SovereignSun Apr 11 '17 at 13:40
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Another alternative: I'm thinking to buy a house.

Of rather means that you have a plan that you constantly remind yourself of, whereas about means your thoughts still circle over / about the the general problem space. On I never heard.

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