I think those expressions are quite similar. Some examples:

  • I don't mind if you sit beside me.
  • You can't go out dressed like that. I don't care.
  • I didn't have time to call Peter. Doesn't matter. I'll probably see him this evening anyway.

Could anybody explain what are the subtle differences between them?


I don't mind usually means that you are allowing for that action to occur. In your case it would be allowing for that person to sit next to you.

I don't care usually mean that you are stubborn, fixed and won't change your mind. This could be associated as being slightly rude/aggressive as for example in an argument:

I don't care about your opinion on my dress because you are a (some discouraging words).

Doesn't matter usually means that the action that is about to occur won't affect the outcome. Also a little bit similar to I don't care in the fixed, stubborn part but it is more polite to use.

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    "I don't care" can simply mean "I have no opinion on the matter." "Do you want to get Chinese food or pizza?" "I don't care, you pick." It doesn't have to be perceived as rude, but context is important. – gp782 Aug 19 '15 at 12:06
  • @gp782 well in your context, you did have a choice until you forfeited it. Anyway, I did provide my context as in an argument. Thanks for the heads up. – CipherBot Aug 19 '15 at 12:08
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    If you don't care but don't want to risk appearing rude, "It's not important to me." is usually an inoffensive statement with the same meaning. – MrTheWalrus Aug 19 '15 at 19:32

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