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I have been trying to understand the usage of "think of" and "think about" for some time and would like to know whether I got it right:

I am thinking about/of changing a job. What do you think about/of him?

No difference in meaning.

But:

It is broken, I need to think of a possible fault.

I think here I do not know the fault yet.

It is broken, I need to think about the problem.

I know the problem already and I am thinking about it/fixing it.

  • I am thinking about/of changing a job. What do you think about/of him? No difference in meaning. – Michael Harvey Sep 28 '18 at 15:56
  • What does "sth" mean in the title? I'm a native (US Southern) speaker, but have never seen this abbreviation before. – Deolater Sep 28 '18 at 18:40
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To think of something can mean to imagine it when it is something that is not in your mind. Synonyms would be: come up with, find, discover, drum up, invent, etc.

  • I need to think of a solution for this problem. [there is not one in my mind; as of now, I have no solution to it.]

To "think about something" can mean the thing is already in (your) mind but you have not spent any time thinking about it.

  • I need to think about that solution to this problem. [in this case a solution is in your mind or has been presented to you and you need to turn it over in your mind.]

These usages fit with the "It is broken, I need to think about the problem/think of a possible fault".

  • I suppose most contexts it is used affect as of to mean like from now on. Interestingly, lots of books guide learners only to the meaning. This is why learners only take it to mean from now on. – SinK Sep 28 '18 at 21:30

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