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When I started learning Chinese I was taught that this term would mean I miss you

However have recently seen this been translated different ways into English.

1st

I miss you

2nd

I'm thinking of you

I know the main word here is 想 and I understand it can be used to indicate want, think, suppose, miss depended upon context but for this i'm lost and wanted to seek your guidance on how to interpret this statement 我想你

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

In this case, miss equals to 想(念),思念 while think of equals to 想到,想起. So 'I miss you' is the right choice. 'I think of you' means '我想起了你'. But sometimes 'I am thinking of you' is translated into ‘我想着你’.

When one say '我想你(+Adverbial)' or ‘我在想你(+Adverbial)’ as a sentence alone, it means that I miss you or I'm missing you. And when one say '我想你+...', it generally means 'I think you +...'. For example, 我想你很适合这项工作 means I think that you are fit to this work. Another example, 我想你在这个夜里 means I miss you in this night.

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1  
@50-3 "I'm thinking of you" would be "我在想你"/"我正在想你". – leesei Aug 13 '13 at 4:21
1  
Yeah, but 我正在想你 as a complete sentence in Chinese equals to 'I'm missing you' rather than 'I'm thinking of you'. – Eden Harder Aug 13 '13 at 5:01
1  
@QuestionOverflow ,leesei: I agree with both you. Eden Harder: I'm not quite sure you can say 我正在考虑你 in this context. Used alone will have a very specific meaning, probably something like "I'm pondering marrying you". – Luis Sep Aug 13 '13 at 6:44
2  
@EdenHarder in the context of "I'm thinking of you", "think"="miss". "我正在考虑你" would be used in the context of job interview/recommendations, "I'm considering to hire/pick/choose you". luis-sep: "我正在考虑你" is more appropriate for choice amongst suitors, we Chinese seldom have the case of multiple proposer!!! – leesei Aug 13 '13 at 6:58
3  
"我想你在这个夜里" sounds awkward to my ears. It may work in poetic context like in poems and lyrics, but not in common conversation or writing. – NS.X. Aug 13 '13 at 20:19

Miss has 掛念, 想念 meaning.

Thinking has 思考, 思想, 想起 meaning.

Example:

I miss you. 我掛念你 / 我想你

I miss you so much. 我十分掛念你

I am thinking of you. 我想你 / 我想起你

I am thinking of your ear rings. 我想起你的耳環

I am thinking of my next year plan. 我正在思考來件

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"I miss you" is probably the best equivalent, but do be aware that it's often a bit stronger than the corresponding words in English, especially when you are talking to traditional people in China.

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