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Is it correct to say "Would you mind to do something?". I've seen this usage in a few places, but it doesn't sound right to me. I would guess that it's proper to use "Would you mind doing something?" instead.

Yet there are other verbs we could substitute here that make it sound correct with "to". For example, "Would you like to do something?" and "Would you care to do something?"

Could someone explain why "mind to" doesn't sound correct in this context, while "like to" and "care to" sound exactly right?

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I can’t answer the question of why this is, but I agree that it doesn’t scan right and has to be mind doing not mind to do. – tchrist May 11 '12 at 16:43
Maybe it's a function of the negative sense of the question? If you substitute "object" (v.) (which I'd consider a close synonym to "mind", only maybe a bit stronger), the same situation applies: Would you object to do something? is definitely wrong, but Would you object to doing something? is fine. Trying to think of other examples to see whether there's a clear distinction between positive and negative... – MT_Head May 11 '12 at 16:50
up vote 24 down vote accepted

No, it's not correct.

The verb mind can take an Equi Gerund Complement:

  • Would you mind doing something?

but not an Equi Infinitive Complement:

  • *Would you mind to do something?

whence the asterisk on the second sentence, indicating that it's ungrammatical.

Verbs vary a lot in which complements (if any) they can take; this is one part of the meaning of the verb. Like and care are both verbs that can take infinitive complements; mind isn't. That's all, really.

Any good ESL dictionary should indicate which types of complement a verb can take; dictionaries for native speakers, on the other hand, usually don't mention that. One more reason not to look in dictionaries for grammatical information.

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protected by tchrist Feb 8 '14 at 21:18

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