Italian Phrase: Ti sto pensando. (I’m thinking of you.)

If you know someone who has been through a lot of hardship recently, perhaps due to a health scare or a loss in the family, you may wish to say that you are thinking of them.

The most natural way to translate the phrase “I’m thinking of you” in Italian is Ti sto pensando.

Ti sto pensando.

I’m thinking of you.

i'm thinking of you in italian

To say that you are “thinking about/of” someone or something in Italian, it is necessary to use the verb pensare (to think) + the preposition a (to). For example:

  • Penso spesso a mia madre. = I often think about my mom.
  • Non voglio pensare a questa situazione. = I don’t want to think about this situation.

And let’s not forget the classic line from the Simpsons “Perché nessuno pensa ai bambini!” (a non-literal translation of “Won’t somebody please think of the children!“)

Sto pensando is the first person present continuous form of pensare, or in simpler terms, the equivalent of “I am thinking” in English.

It is formed in Italian by connecting the verb stare (to be/to stay), conjugated in the present tense, to a verb ending in the gerund -ando or -endo. I find it helps to think of -ando/-endo as the Italian -ing.

  • io (I) + stare (to be/to stay) + andare (to go) = io sto andando (I am going)
  • noi (we) + stare (to be/stay) + scrivere (to write) = noi stiamo scrivendo (we are writing)
Young woman sitting in a coffee shop with a laptop computer, talking on the phone
Ti sto pensando. Anche tu mi pensi? = I’m thinking of you. Are you thinking about me too?

I’ve left the word ti for last as it can be a little bit tricky for beginners to understand.

Ti is an indirect object pronoun that literally means “(to) you“. In Italian, it is necessary to use indirect object pronouns with certain verbs such as dire (to say/tell), telefonare (to phone) and – you guessed it – pensare (to think).

  • Ti devo dire una cosa importante. = I need to tell you something important.
  • Ti telefonerò domani. = I will phone you tomorrow.
  • Ti penso tutti i giorni. = I think of you every day.

Unlike in English, object pronouns usually come before the verb. When they are in this position, they are called unstressed object pronouns.

In certain cases, however, such as when you want to give special emphasis to a statement, it is possible to place the object pronouns after the verb. In this position, they are called stressed object pronouns.

Ti, for example, becomes a te as a stressed object pronoun and follows sto pensando. In English, the way we make this differentiation is by putting extra stress on the word “you” when we speak.

Sto pensando a te.

I am thinking of you (and not someone else).

If you want to put these two phrases into the past, all you have to do is transform the present sto into the imperfect stavo (lit. I was staying).

Ti stavo pensando.

I was thinking of you.

Stavo pensando a te.

I was thinking of you.

Male keeping in touch with friends by the phone while out in the city
Eccoti, stavo giusto pensando a te! = Here you are, I was just thinking about you!

Italians often use these phrases when answering the phone, if they were just thinking about the person that called them. You can also use them as a last-minute save when you realise you forgot to call the other person earlier.

Eccoti, ciao! Stavo giusto pensando a te! Vuoi uscire sabato sera?

Here you are, hi! I was just thinking about you. Do you want to go out Saturday night?

Ciao! Stavo proprio pensando a te, giuro! Come stai?

Hi! I was just thinking about you, I swear! How are you?

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