how to answer a "Would you mind..?" [lending a bicycle]

Discussion in 'English Only' started by pencil_xoxo, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. pencil_xoxo New Member

    which one is correct?

    Q: Would you mind lending me you bike?
    A1: Yes, Here it is.
    A2: Not at all.

    Can you guys reply and explain to me clearly? i'm quite confused about this question.

    Thanks a lot.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009
  2. It all depends on how the listener chooses to interpret the question, because "would you mind..." requests are usually not meant to be taken literally.

    "Would you mind lending me you bike" is a conventional way of asking "Will you lend me your bike, please?". The listener is entitled to interpret it like that and answer "Yes. Here it is", even though "Yes" is strictly an illogical answer. "Here it is" makes it plain that you are agreeing to lend the bike, so avoiding the ambiguity of answering "yes" on its own.

    Therefore both your answers can be right. The first answers the real request behind the stated request. The second answers the stated request literally and, in doing so, answers the "hidden" question.
  3. Wishfull Senior Member

    A3; No. Here it is.
    is also OK?
    Is it unnatural for a daily conversation, though it is grammatically correct?
  4. cycloneviv

    cycloneviv Senior Member

    Perth, Western Australia
    English - Australia
    I would answer in the negative to say that I was happy to lend the bike, for example:

    No, that's fine. Here you go!
    Not at all. Go for it!
    Not a bit. How long do you need it for?
  5. Harriet Grey New Member

    Ontario Canada
    This is a problem that also flusters small children who are native English speakers. "Do you mind . . .?" " means does it bother you if" If it does not bother you the correct quick answer would be "no". if we were to say "Yes. take the bike" we could be communicating that we would rather that the speaker did not take the bike.
  6. pencil_xoxo New Member

    thank you guys lots :x
    i was taught about this once but recently another English teacher of mine asked me this question and her answer surprised me much. She chose the first one, which makes me work so hard to find the correct answer.

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