English is not my native language.

I am curious about the usage of "to my mind".

  • Is it a British English phrase?
  • Is it used in American English?
  • Is it formal/informal?

I've found an interesting article where the author is very surprised by the expression:

I have found that “to my mind” is commonly used in Ukraine ... This is strange to me and everyone else in my cluster

Nevertheless there is "to my mind" in the Cambridge dictionary.

5 Answers 5


It means in my opinion and is common in both BrE and AmE. OED and NOAD both give the following description:

to my mind in my opinion: this story is, to my mind, a masterpiece.

And I don't see anything informal with the expression. Neither NOAD nor the OED marks it that way.

  • 1
    It could be that not all AmE dialects use "to my mind". I use it and don't find anything strange about it, but I am from the upper Midwest; the writer of the blog post OP linked to seems to be from Georgia (or at least she went to college there).
    – alcas
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 9:52
  • I'm from the Northeast, and it's not unfamiliar to me. Commented Oct 4, 2015 at 17:03

As an American, I would never use 'to my mind' in the initial position in a sentence. I often find that German students have a tendency to do just that. Otherwise, I use it more to mean 'in my opinion', as in "He's got pink walls and a green carpet, which to my mind, looks completely wrong."

  • 1
    To my mind, you aren't representative of all Americans. :)
    – choster
    Commented Nov 6, 2013 at 20:47

I'm from the Chicagoland area and I had never heard this phrase used until I moved to France, where all my students use it as a translation for "à mon avis."


In British English it is seen as a slightly formal expression...that is it is seen, as a middle class way of speaking.

A more working class (if slightly old fashioned) way of saying the same thing would be, I reckon.

  • 1
    Yes, or "to my way of thinking".
    – Suke
    Commented Sep 30, 2012 at 13:47

I'm just about to correct a French student of mine on this. I want to say we don't use it; I certainly don't. 'In my opinion' comes much more naturally to me (I'm British). Only my foreign students use 'to my mind'. I suspect often for other non-native expressions it is a direct translation except in this case it isn't.

  • 1
    I disagree. "To my mind" is just as BrE as it is AmE. Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 7:44

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