Mar 082016

How do you teach your students to respond to a question like this?

Tea or coffee?
a. I don’t care
b. I don’t mind

When I lived in England, I used to teach my students ‘I don’t mind’. Some would say ‘I don’t care’, and I’d say, ‘Yes, Americans say that, but I’d avoid it because it can sound negative in British English’. But then I moved to the US and discovered that ‘I don’t mind’ is problematic too!

Maybe the best answer in international contexts is something like ‘I’m happy with either’? What do you think?

There are lots of other curious things about the verb ‘mind’ and last week we released a video exploring some of the ways we use it in requests.

Both videos are available with clickable transcripts at our Simple English Videos website.

To watch the video on British and American differences with ‘I don’t care’ and ‘I don’t mind’, click here.
To watch the video on how to use ‘mind’ in polite requests, click here.

Happy watching!

 Posted by at 9:49 pm

  3 Responses to “How to use the verb ‘mind’ in British and American English”

  1. In my opinion, the only right and proper answers are “Tea” and “Coffee”. It’s not reasonable to put the burden on your host of making such a decision.

  2. Ha! Jay would agree with you entirely John!

  3. uh,
    And what about :’Both are fine’?

    Thanks for your excelent blog.

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