I saw the following question in a book.

Question: What will you do if the teacher is not in the class?
Answer : I am row leader so that's why I will mind my row.

Can you please explain the meaning of "I will mind my row"

  • 3
    Which book is this? it sounds a very stilted construction. Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 14:46
  • The construction sounds very British. Likely the character in your American book is speaking British English, perhaps by affectation.
    – Tim Grant
    Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 17:08
  • Without the reference to being "row leader" I would assume it was a combination of the expressions "mind your own business" and "hoe your own row", which both mean roughly the same thing.
    – 1006a
    Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 18:49

3 Answers 3


Mind has many meanings, one of which is:

"to look after someone, usually on a temporary basis"

The person in your example is saying that, when the teacher is not in class, they will take care of the other students in the same row to which they have been appointed as row leader. Presumably, this would require the row leader to ensure that the other students behave themselves and do whatever work the teacher has set until the teacher returns.

  • 5
    I'd note that this might be a common role for a student in some countries, but I've never heard of it in British schools.
    – James K
    Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 16:27
  • 3
    @JamesK As an American, this is a foreign concept to me as well and I'm having difficulty finding any references to such a role through Google searches. It makes me rather curious if this is a purely fictional situation or if establishing a "row leader" is actually common practice in some regions and, if so, where.
    – jmbpiano
    Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 16:45

It most probably goes for I'll take care of those who sit in the same row as me, so that they won't misbehave and the teacher won't have to tell us off because of it. Check the definition of row in LDOCE (5th edition):

1. a line of things or people next to each other → column
2. a line of seats in a theatre or cinema

  • What is the meaning of mind in dictionary in above context?
    – Pankaj
    Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 8:31
  • 2
    @Marcus There's a world where OP doesn't know that expression either and actually needs the definition of mind (= take care of) Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 13:45

At least in British English, a minder is

a person whose job it is to look after someone or something. eg:"a baby-minder"

The Answerer in your example has a duty to make sure the people in their row of desks aren't mis-behaving, deputised from the teacher. So while the teacher is away they'll continue to look after their row.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .