The difference between 「考える」(kangaeru) and「思う」(omou) -「考える」と「思う」の違い

Many Japanese words have the same English translation but different connotation. 「考える」(Kangaeru) and「思う」(Omou) are one of such Japanese words and both are translated as “To think”. These words can also be translated as “To consider”, “To suppose”, “To guess” and “To imagine”. 「考える」and「思う」are probably one of the most used verbs in the daily conversation as well as in a business situation. You may choose which word to use depending on the situation or to avoid using the same words again and again. It is important to understand the difference properly and choose the one that is most suitable for the scene.


Definition of「考える」(Kangaeru)


考える is defined as “to make a logical judgement”. 考える is a verb that is often spoken from a more objective perspective compared to 思う. This is effective when you want to make your speech more convincing or give a strong impression.

Definition of 「思う」(Omou)


思う is defined as to make an emotional judgement. While 考える is thinking from an objective perspective, 思う represents a more subjective imagination. 思う is used when you make judgments with your heart, and when you cannot explain logically and reasonably.


Difference between「考える」and「思う」


考える is thinking that involves intelligence. 考える means making judgments with your head, not your heart. The process of 考える involves drawing conclusions and predicting things with clear reasoning. On the other hand, 思う is thinking that involves feelings and emotions. In the Kanji 思, there is 心 in the bottom. 心 means heart and emotion. This suggests that 思う is used when there are human emotions involved. The word 思う means not only to think but also to make predictions, remember, hope, and wish. The act of 思う does not involve intellectual analysis, but the act of 考える is to use the brain to derive an answer.


How to use「考える」and「思う」


Example sentences of 考える


Jibun ga tadashii to kangaeru

じぶんがただしいとかんがえる

自分が正しいと考える (To think I am correct)


Mondai no kaiketsusaku wo kangaeru

もんだいのかいけつさくをかんがえる

問題の解決策を考える (To think about the solution to the problem)

Syuui no kankyo nado wo kangaeru しゅういのかんきょうなどをかんがえる 周囲の環境などを考える (To think about the surrounding environment)

This word is commonly used when making decisions by analyzing from an intellectual or theoretical perspective. If you use the word 考える, you must be able to clearly explain why you came to that idea.


Example sentences of 思う


Sorosoro kekkon sitaito omotteiru

そろそろけっこんしたいとおもっている

そろそろ結婚したいと思っている (I am thinking about getting married soon)


Aki ha sabishii kisetsu dato omou