Sometimes one makes a request wishing to know the possibility of having the request granted. In doing this, the person could place the request this way: Please, is it possible staying with you for some days? This way of making polite requests with the intent of knowing the motive of the person is not wrong. However, there is a more subtle way to do it , and that is by the use of the expression,‘would you mind……‘.
Take note of the following sentences:
1. Would you mind if I stayed with you for some days?
2. Would you mind if he went out with you?
3. Would you mine my staying with you for some days?
4. Would you mind having him around?
In the above sentences, ‘would you mind’ is used to make a polite request with the intent of knowing the possibility of having the request granted. It is like wanting to know if your request inconveniences the person or not.
RULES ON THE USAGE OF ‘WOULD YOU MIND‘
There are no much rules except these three.
[I]. When a subject appears before the verb in the sentence, the verb should be in the past tense. For instance, the full form of the request involving ‘would you mind’ will be: would you mind if+ subject +verb. In this case where a subject appears, the verb should be in a simple past tense. In the example 1 and 2 above, we notice the verbs are in the simple past– stayed and went, not stay and go respectively.
1. Would you mind if I borrowed( not borrow) you car?
2. Would you mind if she danced (not dance) with him?
3. Would you mind if they left ( not leave) early?
[II] In a case where no subject appears before the verb barring other grammatical errors, the verb should be in the -ing form, ie present participle. The expression would be: would you mind + verb.[ Take note the conditional, ‘if’ will also be missing]
1. Would you mind leaving( present participle of leave] with me?
2. Would you mind keeping quiet?
3. Would you mind lending me some money?
[III] If the expression contains a possessive noun or pronoun before the verb, the verb should be in the -ing form also. The expression would be: would you mind + a possessive pronoun or noun+ verb.[ Take note ‘if’ is missing here as well]
1. Would you mind my leaving with you?
2. Would you mind Desmond’s excusing us?
3. Would you mind his farming on your land?
When responding to a ‘would you mind’ request, you may say:
POSITIVE RESPONSE [the request is granted]
No, I wouldn’t
No, not at all
Of course/Definitely not
NEGATIVE RESPONSE [the request is not granted]
Yes, I would.