Do You Mind If I…?

webcomics: Do you mind if I smoke? Do you mind if I text and drive?

WebDonuts – Text and Drive comic – By Mike Gruhn

Transcript

  • Do you mind if I smoke?
  • Do you mind if I text and drive?

Vocabulary

  • Do you mind if … = a useful phrase to ask something in a polite way. You could paraphrase it as: “Is that ok with you if …”
  • to text (v.) /tekst/ to send a text message (= written message from a mobile phone)
  • text and drive (phrase): sending a text message while driving at the same time.

Context

  • Do you get the point of this comic? Here, the first person asks if he can smoke in the car. Now, smoking is widely recognized as something that will harm your health. In other words, there are risks associated to smoking, although they are not immediate risks. The second person uses the same structure of the sentence with the example of texting and driving. In the USA, for example, there are more and more people who create accidents because they have been texting while driving.  So, by saying that, the second speaker is pointing out the fact that smoking is as dangerous as texting while driving.

Language Feature

  • Do you mind if…?
    • Feel free to use this structure to make polite requests. For example:
      • Do you mind if I open the window?
      • Do you mind if we go to that place instead?
      • Do you mind if we read one more?
    • Pay attention, though, that with such a structure the answer might seem contradictory:
      • Do you mind if I open the window?
        • No, I don’t [mind] = it’s ok if we open the window
      • Do you mind if we go to that place instead?
        • No, not at all = it’s completely ok to go there
      • Do you mind if we finish as soon as possible?
        • Yes, I do, because we need to do it well. = it’s not ok with me to try to finish as soon as possible.

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