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Mind your stepping Options
Joe Kim
Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 1:54:51 AM

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Joined: 9/16/2016
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Mind your step -- People say only this version. But how about

1. Mind your stepping
2. Mind your steps.


What do they mean that people wouldn't say these two forms?


Andrew Schultz
Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 4:54:07 AM

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Both forms make sense, but there are a few reasons people settle on "step."

First, "steps" generally refers to the steps of a stair, so if you need to step around wet concrete or a puddle, then it's Mind Your Step. If there is a step down (e.g. off a curb), then "mind the step" works, too.

Stepping is a bit longer to say than step, so "step" is preferred. "Stepping" also has acquired a slang meaning in the past 10 or 20 years, with "get to stepping" being an order to leave. Stepping/Steppin' is also a dance move.

This is a bit idiomatic, but in general, native speakers of any language have (relatively) sensible abbreviations, and stepping/step is one.

I particularly enjoy the idiom section of this fine website.
shass
Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 5:32:20 AM
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Location: New Quay, Wales, United Kingdom
Mind your step simply means be careful how you walk/proceed. Maybe it is slippery or dark.
-Wordweb Step "The act of changing location by raising the foot and setting it down"

Never heard Mind your stepping or Mind your steps in the UK.
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 8:27:37 AM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Hi Andrew - *Slightly* off-topic.

"to step" is one movement. One changes position by moving one foot forward. Thus I don't see it as a short-form of "stepping" which is a *series* of steps i.e. a form of ambulation.

So, "Watch your step" has always made perfect sense to me - it means "Watch where you are about to put your foot" - not "Watch where you are going to walk."

palapaguy
Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 10:35:02 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/28/2013
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Location: Calabasas, California, United States
Joe Kim wrote:
Mind your step -- People say only this version. But how about

1. Mind your stepping
2. Mind your steps.


What do they mean that people wouldn't say these two forms?


They don't mean anything so they aren't used.
NKM
Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 1:13:56 PM

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Joined: 2/14/2015
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Location: Corinth, New York, United States
I've never heard either of those two sentences. What I'd expect to hear is "Watch your step!"

Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 1:15:06 PM

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Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
Mind the steps = The speaker is cautioning you about stop steps just ahead of you. (Meaning steps such as a stair case, or the steps leading up to a door.) Perhaps the steps are uneven or of odd sizes, such that they might be difficult to use.

Watch your step = The speaker is cautioning you about the placement of your feet while you are walking. Perhaps the ground is uneven, or puddles exist that should be avoided, or patches of mud, or there are some obstacles in your path that could cause you to trip.

Joe Kim
Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 6:02:09 PM

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Joined: 9/16/2016
Posts: 363
Neurons: 1,859
Thank you everyone. It was a great help.
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