How do we use the phrase "To think..."? I am wondering how it should be used and what it means exactly? Is it used to say someone is astounded or surprised? I remember seeing it used before, but I am not sure how to use the phrase correctly?

For example:

To think they would go this far to prevent us from winning.

Is the phrase incomplete? Do you need to put ellipsis (...) for the phrase to make sense, how can I fix the phrase to make it seem the person saying it is bewildered or surprised?

  • 1
    Just add an exclamation point at the end. Jun 23, 2019 at 4:05

1 Answer 1


"To think (something)" is a set phrase that is used as an exclamation of astonishment. It is meant to imply that the situation that occurred is almost unthinkable and definitely unexpected. It can also show up as "And to think (something)", which means the same thing. Usually English sentences don't start with 'and'. In "And to think" it is for dramatic effect and isn't serving as a conjunction.

This is one of those phrases that can be used 'straight' but is also often used sarcastically (implying that someone SHOULD have thought about, or expected, an obvious outcome.)

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