Saturday, February 18

Do You Mind…? Would you mind…?

Do you know how to use “mind” as a Verb?

First of all, the word that will follow “mind” must always be V+ing and never To + V

So, it’s okay to say: 

Do you mind coming with me?    (=OK)

Do you mind taking off your sunglasses? (=OK)

I don’t mind sleeping on the couch. (=OK)

But it is wrong to say: 

Do you mind to buy some wine? (=X)

They mind to stay here. (=X)

Does she mind to cook for many guests? (=X)

So, we can say that the pattern in using “Mind” is:

Mind + V+ing

Yes, this is true. But only this? 

No, not only this. We can also say: 

Mind + if + S + V

So we say: 

Do you mind if I borrow your book?  (=OK)

Do you mind if I stay here for a while?  (=OK)

Do you mind if he stays here for a while?  (=OK)

But please remember: 

In this style (If + S + V) you can use “I" and also "he, she, they, we, or it.” But you can not use “you.” 

Why not? 

The Two Kinds of “Mind”

I’ve taught you that there are, in fact, two kinds of “mind.” 

According to their grammar structures:

Mind + V+ing

- Or  –

Mind If S + V

But aside from these patterns, what’s the difference between them? 

Try and study our two examples below…

Example 1

Here in our first example, the electric fan is standing next to Person B. So the doer of the Request must be Person B. That’s why Person A will ask this way: 

Do you mind turning on the fan?

Example 2

On the other hand, here in our second example, the fan is standing next to Person A, that’s why the doer of the Request must be Person A himself. He will ask: 

Do you mind if I turn on the fan?

Do you get it? It depends on who will be doing the Request. 

In summary, if you wanna ask another person to do something, just use “Mind + V+ing.” 


1. Do you mind taking out the trash? 

2. Do you mind calling Uncle Alan?

3. Do you mind smoking in the balcony? 

And sometimes even negative: 

Do you mind not smoking here?

On the other hand, if you wanna make a Request that you wanna do yourself (actually, when you are asking permission to do something), you should use “Mind + if S + V.”


1. Do you mind if I join you? 

2. Do you mind if I change the (TV) channel? 

3. Do you mind if I use your bathroom? 

And sometimes other people: “he, she, they” etc. 

Ex. Do you mind if he stays in your room?

The Third and Last Kind of “Mind” 

If you noticed, all our examples used the Present Tense. (join, change, use, stays etc.)

But you might have also heard “If + S + V” followed by the Past. Yes, this is also possible:

Mind + If + S + V (Past)

Ex. Mind if I borrowed...

This has the same meaning as the Present Tense, except that the expression will change to “Would Mind” : 

Would you mind + If + S + V (Past)?  (=OK)

Compare this with:

Do you mind + if + S + V (Present)?  (=OK)

As you can see, the third kind of “Mind” uses the Conditional, that’s why it can use the Past Tense + Would

Don’t worry. About their meaning, “Do you mind…?” and “Would you mind…?” are still the same. 

But about their tone, “Would you mind…?” is more formal and polite. "Do you mind...?" is more casual. 

In addition, if you try to answer “Do you mind…?” and “Would you mind…?” please be careful: 

Do you mind…? -----> Yes, I do./ No, I don’t. 

Would you mind…? -----> Yes, I would. / No, I wouldn’t.  

How to Answer “Mind” 

The meaning of the Verb “Mind” is “to feel troublesome” or “to dislike.” 

This is very important to remember because this will tell you how to answer a question with “Mind.” 

IMAGINE: You are in the park. You are sitting on a bench. If somebody asked you: “Do you mind if I sit with you?” 

image courtesy of stock.xchng

How would you answer? 

A. Yes.

B. No.

C. Yes, I don’t mind.

D. I mind. 


The correct answer is, in fact, Letter B: “No.” Or, to make it better you can say: “No, I don’t mind.” 


Because the question “Do you mind if I sit with you?” actually means: “Do you feel it’s troublesome if I sit with you?” It also means: “Do you dislike it if I sit with you?” 

So, you definitely have to say “No.” 

You can also say: “Go ahead” or “Sure” but you mustn’t say “Yes.” Because “Yes” will be too direct and impolite. 

This is a bit confusing because our first instinct, as non-native speakers of English, is to say “Yes, of course.” But this is wrong. 

Also, to combine positive “Yes” and negative “I don’t” (Letter C) isn't good English. 

So, the next time somebody asks you: “Do you mind if I…?” please be sure to answer “No, go ahead,” “No, I don’t mind” or just “Sure” to be polite. 

Special Cases 

Of course sometimes there are special cases when you really don’t want to agree with the speaker, or with the person who is making the Request. In those cases, you can say: “Yes.” 

For example,  

A: Do you mind if I smoke here?

B: Yes, I do. I have asthma. 


A: Do you mind if I sit with you? (on the beach with a lot of other empty spaces)

B: Yes, I do. Sorry, but I prefer to be alone. 

Just be sure you know the meaning and the situation that you are making when you answer this way. 


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