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"If you don't mind me asking..." vs. "If you don't mind my asking..."

 

Are both acceptable and exactly the same? What do you say?

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Thanks guys!

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: WK087

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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    It really depends on the verb. With the verb ‘to mind’ you can use either the possessive gerund form or the participle form. It has the same basic meaning regardless of which form you choose, but in usage they are not exactly the same.

    1) If you don't mind my asking.

    The possessive pronoun can modify a gerund and this formal construction is preferred with the verb “mind”, because it is a polite request.

    I hope you don't mind my asking……correct

    2) I hope you don't mind me asking.

    A present participle can modify an object pronoun and it is also considered correct. There is nothing wrong with this form, but it is less formal.

    I hope you don't mind me asking……correct

    ----
    The verb “to see” can also take both forms, but the possessive gerund form sounds strangely formal.
    I saw him walking down the street…..correct
    I saw his walking down the street…….correct but odd, sounds like something from an 18th century novel.


    With some verbs “to keep” for instance, the possessive gerund form and the participle form have significantly different meaning.
    He kept me talking for hours……He made sure that I talked for hours.
    He kept my talking for hours…….He kept a tape of my recorded voice for hours (and then threw it away?)

     

    How about " Would you mind if I ask..."

     

    Yes, you can read them as the same.

    "If you don't mind my asking" is what I prefer, it's slightly less personal than "if you don't mind me asking", and therefore less invasive.

     


    1) Forget the "me" or "my" .... no one will notice or care - it's petty.

    2) >>> HOW YOU ASK (your tone of voice) is more important than the words! Think more about how you come across / the feeling you send --- are you smiling when you ask (friendly) or laughing at the person (suspicious / critical of what they are doing). Be situation appropriate!

    A. However - "My" is generally more polite.
    If your voice is soft and kind, then it would only mean that you are being
    polite and don't want to interrupt someone with a question if they are busy.

    Caring innocent ~ Friendly ~ Curiosity
    While smiling : "If you don't mind my asking, how old is your baby?"

    B. "Me" is more casual - less polite"
    If you ask with more laughing/disgust than curiosity in your voice
    then you are communicating you think what the person is doing /
    behavior or thing you are asking about is scary/crazy or doesn't make
    any sense.

    Critical ~ Shocked ~ Disgusted or Surprised:
    While looking shocked/stressed:
    "If you don't mind me asking, why are you driving
    on the wrong side of the road?!
    While asking laughing:
    "If you don't mind me asking, are you going to wear
    THAT tie to the restaurant?!"

    3) Most say > "Do you mind if I ask you a question?" or simply
    "Excuse me" < theseworks for any situation.

    ------------- My / Me : no one is going to notice much (USA). Unless you're uh,
    Denis.
    (wink) just kidding Denis

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