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Two sentences are:

  1. Would you mind having a cup of tea with me?
  2. Would you mind to have a cup of tea with me?

I think both sentences should be correct. But internet says just no.1 is correct. Why cannot I use 'to have' instead of 'having'?

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    Because it isn't 'the way we say it in English' - no other reason that I can think of. Dec 29, 2022 at 13:12
  • There is a similar question to this on SE English Language and Usage: english.stackexchange.com/questions/329/…. There could perhaps be a grammatically better answer as to why English generally uses the gerund where Romance and Germanic languages use the infinitive. In my experience of working in an institution with many foreign scientists, it is one of the three most common mistakes non-native but fluent English speakers make.
    – David
    Dec 29, 2022 at 15:39
  • @David I doubt one can say a person is really fluent if they say: Do you mind to [verb]. The fact is that English does not call for much memorizing but this is one of things one just has to learn by heart.
    – Lambie
    Dec 29, 2022 at 19:43
  • @Lambie Depends whether you regard fluent as an absolute. The German Linguaphone course I did years ago had an Ann Green claiming to be “fleissig aber mit Fehlen“. The point is these people wrote their scientific papers in English, gave seminars in English but there were a few mistakes some of them made. My conclusion is that these were the most difficult features for speakers of other European languages. (The other two are the unreal conditional where people use a double conditional instead of had…would, and temporal expressions where people say “since a long time”.)
    – David
    Dec 29, 2022 at 20:38
  • @David Nothing new to me, friend. I've been dealing with these with the French, Spanish and Portuguese speakers for a lifetime. Maybe I'm too stringent and should only apply my strict standards to professional interpreters/translators and give the others a "pass".
    – Lambie
    Dec 29, 2022 at 20:45

2 Answers 2

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Some verbs in English must be followed by a gerund.

Verbs that "take" ing following them:

Mind, like, dislike, detest, love, and please see below.

BBC ENGLISH

Verbs followed by the -ing form When enjoy, admit and mind are followed by another verb, it must be in the -ing form.

I enjoy travelling. He admitted stealing the necklace. I don't mind waiting if you're busy.

Other verbs in this group include avoid, can't help, consider, dislike, feel like, finish, give up, miss, practise and suggest. [and recommend]

Like and love can be followed by the -ing form and the to + infinitive form. They are both correct.

[Learners need to memorize these to avoid mistakes. Just keeping a list handy is probably enough, until using them become natural.]

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You can discuss how the language has evolved to be like this (if you ask me, I have no idea), but for practical usage, it's enough to know that it's just how it is. The custom has established itself and isn't likely to change. There needn't be any "should" about it.

Yes, it can be confusing, since we have...

  • Would you like to have a cup of tea with me?
  • Would you care to have a cup of tea with me?

...and on the other hand...

  • Would you feel like having a cup of tea with me?
  • Would you mind having a cup of tea with me?

...but that's just how things are and none of those has two options whether to use "having" or "to have". "Would you mind" or "I don't mind" or any other phrase with "mind" would very much mind being paired with an infinitive.

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