in mind vs on mind

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Mack&Mack, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. Mack&Mack Senior Member

    Korea & Korean
    Hello helpers,

    How does "in mind" sound differently from "on mind"?

    I once learned that

    What's on your mind? = What worries you?

    What if I say What's in your mind?


    What do you want to eat? What's on your mind? or What's in your mind?

    In this situation, are the both "in your mind" and "on your mind" the same in meaning?

    Thank you all a lot in advance. =)
  2. "In my mind" may also mean "in my opinion".
  3. anwal

    anwal Member

    Hello Mack and Mack

    What's in your mind is as you say - what are you thinking

    What's on your mind usually means what is worrying you

    Or you could say "have you something in your mind" meaning you have an idea

    Or "have you something in mind" again meaning you have an idea

    Or "have you something on your mind" meaning something which is worrying you
    Sounds a bit complicated. I am sure there must be an easier way of explaining it!
  4. duden Senior Member

    pls can you tell me the difference between these two phrases?

    "You were always on my mind" (like Elvis sang)


    "Thank you for the tip, I´ll keep it in mind."

    Why is there "on" in the first and "in" in the second sentence? Is there any semantic difference I am not able to see? Or are the prepositions interchangable in this context?

    Thank you
  5. WongFeiHung

    WongFeiHung Senior Member

    USA English
    First one: "You were always on my mind" - means that I was always thinking of/about you
    Second one: "Thank you for the tip, I'll keep it in mind" - I'll remember that

    "I'll keep you in mind" is a set phrase, I believe, so don't substitute "on" in it.
  6. hly2004 Banned

  7. maxiogee Banned


    You haven't picked very good examples here, unfortunately, duden, as the two lines mean the same thing - to keep in mind and to be always on someone's mind don't differentiate enough.

    If something is on my mind it means that it is lingering there, and won't go away.
    But if something is in my mind it might be only temporary.
    It's been on my mind to write to you = I've been meaning to do it for some time.
    It's in my mind to go to London = I've recently thought about taking a trip there.
  8. AWordLover

    AWordLover Senior Member

    Atlanta, Georgia USA
    USA English

    maxiogee said
    I'm going to quibble with maxiogee.

    The phrase "keep in mind" which means to remember or consider when making a judgement has a meaning quite distict from the use in the statement, "It's in my mind to go to London".
  9. maxiogee Banned


    Quibble away, quibbles are always welcome ;)

    I think you're only reinforcing what I already said, — which was that "Keep in mind" doesn't really differ from "to be always on someone's mind".

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