Learn English: 11 ‘mind’ expressions

Hello. My name is Emma and in today’s lesson I am going to teach you a bunch of new vocabulary expressions. These expressions are all very common and very useful. So, the expressions we’re going to learn today all have the word “mind” in them. Okay? And there are a lot. I’m not even covering all of them because there are so many expressions in English with the word “mind”, so we’re only going to cover some of them, but we’re going to cover the main ones. Okay, so, when we talk about “mind”, there are different ways we’re talking about mind. “Mind” can have to do with the brain and with thinking or thoughts. Okay? So, sometimes when we’re talking about mind we’re talking about our brain or we’re talking about our thoughts. Sometimes we’re talking about something totally different with mind. Sometimes when we’re talking about mind we’re actually talking about being polite. For example: “Do you mind?” this is something where you’re being polite. And then we also use “mind” when we’re telling somebody to pay attention to something.

For example: “Mind the gap” or “Mind the hole”. So we have these three times where we’re using “mind” and we have a lot of different expressions for each of these different categories. So we’re going to go over each of these. I’m going to teach you a bunch of expressions where “mind” has to do with thought or brain, I’ll teach you a lot of expressions where it has to do with politeness, and then I’m going to teach you a lot of “mind” expressions that have to do with paying attention. But this is pretty much one way you can look at these expressions. So let’s get started by talking about… When we’re talking about mind, and thoughts, and the brain. So, first, when we talk about “mind” one meaning of “mind” can have to do with pretty much the brain, but it’s not exactly the brain. Okay? So your brain is in your head and it’s a physical thing. You can touch the brain, you can feel the brain, you can see the brain, smell the brain, so it’s physical. Mind is not physical.

You can’t see the mind because the mind is where your thoughts are, where your memories are, and these are things you can’t really see or feel, but they’re somewhere in here; we just can’t see them because they’re not physical. So, for example: Einstein, very famous scientist: “Einstein had a brilliant mind.” Okay? So this means Einstein had brilliant thoughts, he was very smart. He had, you know, brilliant ideas. These things are all in his mind. So it’s similar to brain, although not exactly the same thing, it’s very similar to brain.

We can also say: “psychologist”. A psychologist is a job and people who are psychologists, they study the human mind, meaning they look at the brain and they look at people’s memories, they look at the way people have ideas, and they think about: “Where do these things come from?” Okay? So they study the human mind. So, a lot of the times when we use the word “mind”, we’re talking about kind of your brain and your thoughts. You know, we might say: “Oh, Beethoven had an incredible mind”, or you know: “In your opinion, which minds were the greatest of the 20th century? Who had the greatest mind?” Meaning: Who had the greatest ideas, and thoughts, and pretty much brain? Okay, so that’s “mind”. Now, let’s look at another way we use “mind” and that’s in the expression: “on someone’s mind”. So this is a very common expression. In English we often ask: “What’s on your mind?” Or we also say: “I have a lot on my mind.” So, what does: “on my mind” mean? And make sure you have “on someone’s mind”, so it can be: “on my mind”, “on your mind”, “on her mind”, “on John’s mind”, you can pretty much put any person here.

What does it mean? Well, when we talk about “on our mind” we’re usually talking about problems, so we’re usually talking about problems that we are thinking about. These are thoughts, we’re thinking about something so it’s on our mind. So, let me give you an example. If I ask you: “What’s on your mind?” I’m asking you: “What are you thinking about right now? What’s on your mind?” And you might tell me, you know, some problem you’re having. “You know, I had a fight with my brother. That’s on my mind right now, that’s what I’m thinking about.” You can also say: “I have a lot on my mind.” When somebody says this it means they’re saying: “I’m thinking about some problem I’m having”. “I have a lot on my mind”, it means I’m thinking about a lot of problems right now or a big problem I have. So you’ll see often in TV or movies somebody says: -“What’s wrong?” -“Oh, I have a lot on my mind right now, sorry.” Okay? Meaning: “I have a lot of things I’m dealing with at the moment” or “I have a lot of problems in my life”.

Okay? So: “on my mind” has to do with thoughts, often it has to do with problems and thinking about problems. Now, let’s look at some other examples with the word “mind” when we’re talking about thoughts and the brain. Okay, so our next expression also has to do with thinking, thoughts, and the brain, and that’s: “have in mind”. Okay? So: “have in mind”. So, when you have something in mind or someone in mind, what it means is that you are thinking about a person for a position…

So, for example: -“Who are you voting for?” -“I have Trudeau in mind”, so I am thinking about Trudeau for the position of Prime Minister. Or, you know, maybe if you’re following American politics, you know, if Hillary Clinton is running, you might say: -“Who are you voting for?” -“Oh, I have Hillary in mind.” This could also be for a promotion at work. Maybe you need to hire somebody for your company or promote somebody, so you want to give somebody a job. -“Who do you have in mind for the job?” -“Oh, I have my sister in mind” or -“I have George in mind. He’s a good employee.” So it’s where you’re thinking or it’s like your opinion about a person for a position. You think this person is good for this position, so you have this person in mind for this position. We can also use it with a thing also. It doesn’t always have to be a person. For example, when we are thinking about something, some sort of object that is right for a situation.

So, for example, you know, I’m pretty hungry right now, I’m thinking about dinner. So somebody might say: “Oh, what do you have in mind for dinner?” So: -“What are you thinking about for dinner? What is right for dinner?” -“In my opinion, I have pizza in mind.” That’s what I’m thinking about, I’m thinking about pizza. Pizza is right for this situation. Okay? So, again, we can use it either with a person or a thing, but you’re pretty much saying that this is right for this situation in your opinion. Okay. Our next expression is: “lose someone’s mind”. Okay? I really like this expression. When you lose your mind it means you go crazy. So, for example: “I’m losing my mind. The cat is speaking English.” Okay? So this means I’m going crazy because cats, of course, don’t speak English, so I’m losing my mind. We can also use it if somebody’s doing something very strange, you know: “I think my dad has lost his mind. He’s, you know, wearing a winter jacket and it’s summertime. I think my dad has lost his mind.

I think my dad has gone crazy.” So, we use this expression a lot, especially in conversation. All right, now let’s look at some other expressions to do with the mind. Okay, so our next expression is: “cross someone’s mind”, so this could be: “cross my mind”, “cross your mind”, “cross her mind”, “cross his mind”, and what it means is when we think of an idea very quickly. Okay? An idea comes into our head very quickly.

So, for example: “It just crossed my mind that I need to buy bread today.” It means I’ve just really quickly come up with this idea. Or: “It crossed my mind that I should bring an umbrella because it’s going to rain.” So it just means a quick idea. Okay, our next expression: “Give a piece of someone’s mind.” I really like this expression. It means when you’re giving someone an angry opinion. Okay? So, when you give a piece of your mind, you’re usually angry like this. So maybe, you know, you want to call your telephone company and you’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and nobody’s answering the phone. You might say to yourself: “I’m going to give them a piece of my mind.” It means: “I’m going to give them my angry opinion.

I’m so angry right now.” So: “She gave them a piece of her mind.” Okay? If I ever meet… You know, like, maybe there’s somebody you don’t like: “If I ever meet Johnny I’m going to give him a piece of my mind.” It means I’m going to tell him my angry opinion about him. Okay? What I don’t like about him. Okay, the next one is also an expression, I love this expression actually. When your “mind goes blank”. Okay? This happens to me all the time. What it means is when you forget everything. Okay? You forget what you’re going to say, you forget what you’re supposed to do, you forget everything, and your mind… You don’t remember what you’re supposed to do. So, for example, if you have ever taken a test and you get the piece of paper, you get the test, and you look at it and suddenly: “Oh my god, I don’t remember anything. Oh my god, I’ve forgotten everything.” That means your mind has gone blank.

Or if somebody asks you a question, you know: “Can…?” Like, you know: “What’s…? What’s your phone number?” Maybe if you’re, like, forgetful, you don’t remember. “Oh, my mind just went blank. I don’t remember. I need to, you know, memorize it.” Okay? So when your mind goes blank it’s usually because you’re nervous or tired and you forget everything. Okay? And then maybe you remember in a minute, but at that moment you don’t remember anything.

Okay, so: “My mind just went blank.” My mind always goes blank. Okay, the final example of these brain expressions with “mind” is: “Make up someone’s mind.” So, when somebody makes up their mind it means they decide something, they decide to do something. Okay? So I can say: “I have made up my mind. I’m going to university.” It means I’ve decided to go to university. We could say: “Philip made up his mind. He’s going to get pizza for dinner tonight.” Or: “Susan made up her mind. She’s going to the prom with Johnny.” Just another example. So, when you make up your mind, you decide to do something.

“I’ve made up my mind. I’m going to be an astronaut.” Another example, okay, of deciding to do something. So now let’s look at some expressions that have to do with “mind” when we’re talking about being polite and politeness. Okay, so we can also use the word “mind” when we are trying to be polite. And usually we use it this way if we are asking permission for something or if we are requesting something. Pretty much we are asking: Is something okay? And this is a very polite way to ask that. So, for example: “Do you mind if _______?”, “Do you mind if I smoke?” So this is a question where you’re politely asking: “Is it okay if I smoke?” Okay? So, we don’t usually… Well, we sometimes talk this way to our friends, but we usually use this in formal situations or with strangers, or with people we don’t really know that well.

But we can also use it with friends, too. “Do you mind if I smoke?” So you’re asking permission. “Is it okay if I smoke?”, “Do you mind if I open the window?”, “Do you mind if I turn off the light?”, “Do you mind if I borrow your books?” Okay? So, again, you’re asking permission. Now, if it’s okay, you can say: “I don’t mind.” This means: “It’s okay”. “I don’t mind if you open the window.”, “I don’t mind if you smoke.”, “I don’t mind if you borrow my books.” You’re saying: “It’s okay if you do this.” You don’t even need this. If you want, you can say: “Sure. I don’t mind.” So, you know, you don’t need the full sentence, you can just say: “I don’t mind”, and that’s okay, too.

What about if you do mind? What about if it’s not okay? If somebody says: “Do you mind if I smoke?” and you’re not okay with it, what you can say is: “I prefer if you didn’t”. -“Do you mind if I open the window?” -“Well, I’d prefer if you didn’t.” Okay? So we say: “I don’t mind” if it’s okay, and we can say it in different ways, but one way is if you have a problem you can say: “I’d prefer it if you didn’t.” Okay, and then we also have another expression which means very similar: “Would you mind _______?” So this is a very polite way to speak, just like: “Do you mind?”, “Would you mind getting me some coffee?” So in this case I’m asking somebody to do something for me, so I’m requesting something. I want somebody to do something for me and I’m asking: “Is it okay? Is it okay for you…? Do you mind if you get me some coffee?”, “Would you mind getting me some coffee?” I’m requesting for the person to do something for me. “Would you mind if I don’t go to the party?”, “Is it okay if I don’t go to the party? Would you mind?” So this, again, is very similar to: “Do you mind?” It’s a polite way to either request something or ask for somebody’s permission to see if something is okay.

So these are all very polite ways to speak. So we’ve now covered “mind” when we’re talking about the brain and thinking, we’ve covered “mind” when we’re talking about being polite and requesting or asking permission for something. And now let’s look at the final way we use “mind”, which is when we’re telling somebody to pay attention to something. Okay, so our next expression has to do with paying attention. It means you’re telling somebody to be careful about some sort of danger, and so that sentence is: “Mind the _______!” and then here you put whatever the danger is.

So, for example: “Mind the gap.” If you’ve ever been on the subway or the tube and you see there’s, like, between the train and the platform, there’s like a hole, sometimes people might trip on that so you’ll see signs saying: “Mind the gap”, which means: “Be careful about the gap. Pay attention for this gap.” Or on a rainy day when it rains, the ground has puddles on it. So, a puddle is like a lot of water, and what you might tell your friend is: “Oh wait, mind the puddle”, meaning: “Pay attention.

There’s a puddle there.” Or maybe you see dog poo on the sidewalk, and you’re about to step in it and your friend says: “Mind the dog shit.” Okay? Or: “Mind the dog poo”, if you want to be more polite. So, you know, you see these different dangers. Sometimes they’re not dangers, but you really don’t want to step in dog doo-doo, so that’s an example. So anytime you’re telling somebody: “Be careful. Pay attention to this” and it’s kind of urgent, you can use: “Mind the _______.” We also have: “Keep in mind”. So, “keep in mind” means you’re telling somebody to pay attention to something and not forget to remember something. Okay? So, for example: “Keep in mind the bus leaves at 8 pm.” This means: “Remember”, or, you know: “Keep this on your mind. Don’t forget this. Pay special attention to this, the bus leaves at 8 pm.” Or imagine your boss is going on vacation and you’re not going to be able to contact them, your boss might tell you: “Keep in mind I’m going on vacation on Tuesday.” Okay? So: “Keep in mind” means: “Please remember this.” You’re pretty much reminding somebody about something, you’re telling them to put…

Or to pay attention to it, to put some sort of focus on it, and to remember it. Okay? So we’ve covered a lot of different expressions, and just to tell you this, when we cover a lot of expressions it’s very easy to forget some of the ones we cover because we have covered many. What I recommend is maybe working on three or four a day, and then just come back to the video, watch again, learn some new expressions, practice those ones, and once you’re comfortable with those ones maybe work on some of the other expressions we’ve covered in this video. You don’t have to learn them all at the same time; you can do a little bit every day, and that way you will remember a lot more.

On that note, I invite you to come check out our website at www.engvid.com and there you can actually find a quiz where we have all of these expressions and you can practice using them in our quiz. So I highly recommend that for practice. Another point is I’d like you to invite you to subscribe to our channel. There, you will find a lot of incredible videos on all sorts of things. We have more vocabulary videos, grammar, pronunciation, IELTS, TOEFL, business English, all sorts of different resources that are very helpful for students. So I highly recommend you check that out. Until next time, take care. And I will see you later..

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