Mind - English Grammar Today - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Mind as a verb

We use the verb mind to mean ‘take care or be careful of or about something’, or ‘pay attention to something’. In this meaning, we usually use it in the imperative:

Mind your step!

Mind your head. This is a very small door!

Kathy, mind that you don’t trip over my bag. It’s right by the door.

We can also use mind to mean ‘take care of someone or something’:

My mother has offered to mind the children while we are away.

Could you mind my bag for a moment?


We don’t use mind to mean remember:

We must remember that it is our responsibility to protect and care for the environment.

Not: We must mind that

I don’t mind, he doesn’t mind

We can use don’t/doesn’t mind to mean ‘not feel annoyed or worried by something’.

I don’t mind living near the train line. You get used to it.

She doesn’t mind waiting up late.


We say I don’t mind, or it doesn’t matter. We don’t say it doesn’t mind:


Sorry, there are no more chairs!


I don’t mind. I can sit on the floor. (or It doesn’t matter. I can sit on the floor.)

Not: It doesn’t mind


When we refer to the future, we use present (not future) verb forms after mind:

I don’t mind what day they come and stay as long as it’s not Tuesday 12th because I’m away.

Not: … what day they will come and stay

Would you mind? and Do you mind?

We use the phrases would you mind + -ing form, and do you mind + -ing form to ask people politely to do things. Would you mind is more polite and more common:

Would you mind opening the window, please?

Do you mind turning down the volume a little, please?

Do you mind me turning on the light? (I want to turn on the light)

When we ask for permission politely, we can use would you mind if I + past or do you mind if I + present:

Would you mind if I turned on this light?

Do you mind if I sit here?

When someone asks for permission, we usually reply no …, meaning ‘I don’t mind’ or ‘I’m happy with that’. If we want to say that we are not happy, we usually begin with I’m afraid …:


Would you mind if we sat here?


No, not at all. (you can sit here – I don’t mind)


Do you mind if I use your phone?


I’m afraid the battery is dead.

Not: No. The battery is dead.

Never mind

We use the phrase never mind to tell someone not to worry about something because it is not important:


Amy, I’m afraid I’ve broken a cup in your kitchen.


Never mind, Liz. It’s only a cup!


I really want to see that new Brad Pitt movie.


It finished last week at the cinema.


Oh, never mind. I’ll get it on DVD eventually.

Mind you

Spoken English:

We use the phrase mind you in speaking to mean ‘but we should also remember or take into account’:

We had such terrible weather on our holiday. Mind you, it was winter in Tasmania when we went there.

We also use mind you when we are joking:

[A is reading a newspaper headline]


Lotto winner John builds golf-course in back yard.


Oh yeah. That is one way of spending your money.




Yeah. Must have a big back yard, mind you, to have ten holes of golf.

Mind as a noun

The noun mind refers to the part of a person that enables them to think, feel emotions and be aware of things:

I was imagining fields of golden daffodils in my mind.

My mind was filled with ideas.

There are many commonly used phrases with mind:

Liam was going to come with us, but he’s changed his mind. (make a new or different decision about something)

We’ve made up our minds. We’re moving to New Zealand. (make a decision)

What’s on your mind? (what’s bothering you?)

As a detective, I have to keep an open mind. (be willing to consider all of the options and possibilities)

You will find other meanings of mind in a good learner’s dictionary.

Mind: typical errors

  • We don’t use to-infinitive after would you mind or do you mind:

Would you mind getting me a newspaper?

Not: Would you mind to get me a newspaper?

  • We don’t use mind to mean ‘remember’:

Many people refuse to give any importance to computers but they should remember they have better lives because of them.

Not: … they should mind they have better lives because of them.

(“Mind” from English Grammar Today © Cambridge University Press. Need grammar practice? Try English Grammar Today with Workbook.)
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