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At school, I was taught the traditional grammar rules that stated that it was correct to say "as if it were" instead of "as if it was" and that "Do you mind if I" was always to be followed by a past-form verb rather than the present-form one.

However, the more I am exposed to the daily English, the more I hear "as if it was" and questions like "Do you mind if I go there?"

So, my question is: what is grammatically correct, is it

"Do you mind if I go there?"

or still

"Do you mind if I went there?"

?

1 Answer 1

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I don't have any problem with do you mind + present. That said,

Do you mind if I go there?

...is absolutely fine!

Nevertheless, Cambridge describes that had it been Would you... it could have taken the past tense.

Would you mind if I went there?

The reference says: When we ask for permission politely, we can use would you mind if I + past or do you mind if I + present

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  • Indeed, "Do you mind if I went there" seems to me to be mixing the two usages and doesn't seem correct to me. Sep 7, 2018 at 7:13
  • It isn't past tense, this is past subjunctive tense. It describes an action that is conditional, like "If I were rich, I'd buy a yacht." In that example, I'm not talking about the past, and neither is the "went" in your example.
    – Neil
    Sep 7, 2018 at 7:14
  • @Neil I generalized it as the dictionary did.
    – Maulik V
    Sep 7, 2018 at 7:16
  • @MaulikV Right, and I get that. Just pointing out that the dictionary is wrong. :)
    – Neil
    Sep 7, 2018 at 7:19
  • I've just come across a site by grammarians from Seattle: talkenglish.com/lessondetails.aspx?ALID=2048 There are 5+5 (do+would) examples, including 'Do you mind if we left early?' which sounds wrong to me (due to past used). So is it definitely a mistake?
    – Alex_ander
    Sep 7, 2018 at 7:20

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