would you mind doing / to do?

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learning-eng

Member
Chinese
Hi all.
I know we do not say "would you mind to DO_SOMETHING?". Instead, we say "would you mind DOING_SOMETHING?".
My question is this:
Besides feeling it is not idiomatic, what else would come into your mind if you hear / say "would you mind to DO_SOMETHING" ?
Thanks.
 
  • learning-eng

    Member
    Chinese
    Hi Rover_KE,
    Thanks for your reply.
    Actually, I was looking for some kind of analysis, such as what it could possibly mean. There is no grammar rule against saying "would you mind to DO_SOMETHING", just that it is not idiomatic, I believe.
    Put it this way, if we do allow such saying, would it cause confusion / ambiguity / conflict etc.?
     
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    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    We don't say it. It is ungrammatical. Those two mean the same thing. It is a grammatical mistake, since 'mind' does not take that construction (each verb has its own grammar). If we heard it from a foreign learner, we would understand it as the normal use of 'mind' - it doesn't suggest anything else. ('Would you mind' is enough to suggest that.)
     

    learning-eng

    Member
    Chinese
    Hi entangedbank.
    Thanks for your reply.
    I think, there should be reason/reasons for any grammatical rule.
    We do say:
    I like swimming.
    I like to swim.
    And they mean pretty much the same.
    So, I would like to know the story with "mind".
    I do understand "why" we say "deny doing somehing", but not "deny to do something"; as well as "expect to do", but not "expect doing".
    I just can't see the reason/point in the case of "mind".
     
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    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Welcome to the forum, learning-eng.:)

    Grammar is (partly) a theory or description of what people actually say. Like any theory it cannot cover all cases and also has to concentrate on "standard English" (however you define this).
    In a grammar book you will often find prescriptive statements, some of which are clearly wrong. Not in this case though!

    If we never hear Would you mind to open the window? -- as in my case -- it is difficult to say why mind opening is not used. It may have been used in English several hundred years ago.

    Interestingly, the infinitive with mind may have been used (see https://books.google.com/ngrams/gra...ind to stand up;,c0;.t1;,mind standing up;,c0). Further research may make clear in what situations it has been (or is) used.
     
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    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I would not associate minded (adjective, regional use?) with mind (except historically).

    Mind is not used with the infinitive nowadays, And even if you regard minded as formed from mind, it is not used everywhere. I don't think it is used in every part of the UK, for example. Although a sentence like I'm not minded to go there in the winter is part of my own language, I would never use minded today.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It's been established that the construction "to mind" + infinitive is not possible. It seems pointless to continue the discussion, so I've a mind to close this thread forthwith.

    Thread closed - velisarius, moderator.
     
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