The Past Tense of Think: Here’s What It Is and How to Use It

If you have ever been curious about the correct past tense of think was, this article will clear that up plus give you a look into the history of the word, proper english grammar, the definition and everything else you could want to learn about the word. 

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What is the Definition of the Word Think?

The word think is defined as:

Transitive Verb

  • to form or have in the mind
  • to have as an intention
    • thought to return early
  • to have as an opinion
    • think it’s so
  • to regard as: consider
    • think the rule unfair
  • to reflect on: ponder
    • think the matter over
  • to determine by reflecting
    • think what to do next
  • to call to mind : REMEMBER
    • He never thinks to ask how we are.
  • to devise by thinking —usually used with up
    • thought up a plan to escape
  • to have as an expectation: anticipate 
    • We didn’t think we’d have any trouble.
  • to center one’s thoughts on
    • talks and thinks business
  • to form a mental picture of
  • to subject to the processes of logical thought
    • think things out

Is Thunk the Past Tense of Think?

Thunk is not the correct way to conjugate the simple past tense of think. The correct past tense of think is thought. 

Here are the other English verb conjugations of the word think:

Present Participle/ Simple Present TensePast Participle of ThinkFuture Tense
I thinkthoughtAm thinking
You thinkthoughtAre thinking
He, she, it thinksthoughtIs thinking
We thinkthoughtAre thinking
They thinkthoughtAre thinking 

The History and Origin of the Word

You can trace the use of the word think back before the 12th century as a verb. It was not till 1834 that it was used as a noun and 1890 that it was used as an adjective.

It comes from the Middle English language word “thenken” which came from Old English “thencan”. This is similar to the Old High German word “denken” which when translated means to think. This is all similar to the Latin word “tongere” which means to know. 

What is the Third Form of Think?

The third person singular form of think is thinks. 


  • He thinks that his boss will give him a raise.
  • She recently started exercising, she thinks that this will improve her health and happiness.
  • It doesn’t matter how much he thinks he is right, it still is just his opinion.

Synonyms for Think

  • Conceive – to make a mental picture of
  • Consider – to think of in a particular way
  • Deem – to have as an opinion 
  • Feel – to have vague awareness of
  • Figure – to come to a judgment about discussion or consideration 
  • Guess – to form an opinion from little or no evidence 
  • Imagine – to form a mental picture of 
  • Allow – to accept the truth or existence of (something) usually reluctantly

Example Sentences With the Word Think

  • Verb Forms
    • We may finish sooner than you think.
    • You should relax and try to think pleasant thoughts.
    • I was just thinking what it would be like to learn english.
    • I dread to think that the universe is infinitive miles long.
    • I always think that the present perfect moment will come. 
    • Why do you always think the worst?
    • Just think, we will get our new house if we follow the conditional terms.
    • Just think—in two days we’ll be on vacation, lying on the beach.
  • Noun Forms
    • I’d have another think about doing that if I were you.
    • Feel free to have a good think about it before you say yes

Examples of the Word in Context


Next time you need to write the word think, you will be well prepared for everything you need to know what it is and how to use it efficiently. You should feel confident with the different conjugations, the history of the word, and the definition.