He seemed to be pondering his answer.

My research: I think it means "he was thinking about the thing he was going to answer as in he knew the answer but again remembering it in an emotional way.

But why not Ponder over/about/on? What are the differences?

  • 3
    Emotion doesn't come into it; ponder means think carefully about. It takes a direct object. That is, it doesn't need about because that is part of the definition. Oct 7 '21 at 15:50
  • 5
    Does this answer your question? Using "ponder" as an intransitive verb? From the accepted answer there: In US the verb ponder as a transitive verb is followed by a direct object mostly without any preposition alongside. If you choose to include a preposition, this won't affect the meaning, but it may affect the "idiomacy". Oct 7 '21 at 16:11

"To ponder on / ponder over / ponder upon" means 'to think about'. Therefore, 'ponder about' is NOT used. Nor is the 'ponder upon' very common today.

"He seemed to be pondering on / over his answer."

In US English, the verb 'ponder' takes a direct object without any preposition :

"He seemed to be pondering his answer."

  • Is there no difference between ponder/ponder over/onder on? Also the excerpt is in B.E, still it doesn't use any (on or over)? Oct 7 '21 at 19:05
  • It will make no difference. In B.E, the preposition 'on' / 'over' is used after 'ponder'; but in A.E., 'ponder' is used as a transitive verb and it takes a direct object. Oct 7 '21 at 20:05
  • But the quote is itself in B.E and doesn't use any proposition? Oct 8 '21 at 9:30
  • It's typical A.E. usage. Oct 9 '21 at 6:07

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