Are you thinking of starting a business?

Are you thinking to start a business?

I am confused about this question. Can both of the above be used?


a. Think of/about something means:

  1. Take into consideration when deciding on a possible action:

    You can live how you like, but there's the children to think about.

  2. Consider the possibility or advantages of (a course of action):

    He was thinking of becoming a zoologist.

b. Think of means:

  • Call to mind: Lemon thyme is a natural pair with any chicken dish you can think of.

c. Think to do something:

  1. Have sufficient foresight or awareness to do something:

    I hadn't thought to warn Rachel about him.

  2. Imagine or expect (an actual or possible situation):

    Sadly for me, nobody ever thought to test the damn thing on the Firth of Clyde on a Tuesday

    1. (archaic) he thought to better his circumstances by marrying her. INTEND, aim, mean, plan, have in mind, purpose, propose; hope.

For "Are you thinking of starting a business" a the second sense may be meant. For the other one with "to" c the second sense may be meant or the third one -more probable- which as you see is of no frequent use any more.

Sources: Oxford Dictionary of English, Oxford Thesaurus Dictionary on my cell phone.

  • I would certainly favor "Are you thinking of starting a business?" over the other option, but only because the sentence starts with "Are you thinking..." On the other hand, if the sentence started with "Did you think...," then "Did you think to start a business?" would be fine. – J.R. May 31 '16 at 21:21

Using gerund means it is progressive. So use gerund "-ing" when you focus more on the process. "To start a business" is more like you're telling us that you want to start a business.


The phrase "are you thinking to start a business" doesn't really make sense. "Are you thinking of" or "are you thinking about" make more sense.

  • 2
    "Are you thinking to start a new fashion?" Nothing wrong with that, imho. It might perhaps be a bit slangy / regional, but you can't really say it doesn't make sense. – FumbleFingers May 31 '16 at 18:21
  • 1
    "Thinking to start" (analogous to planning to start, intending to start) sounds to me somewhat old fashioned and more formal/educated than "thinking of starting" – Tᴚoɯɐuo May 31 '16 at 18:42

I think "Are you thinking of starting a business" defines the sentence more clearly as compared to "Are you thinking to start a business".

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