“In Mind” Vs. “On Mind”: Difference Explained

Marcus Froland

Do you get confused when it comes to using ‘in mind’ and ‘on mind’? If so, don’t worry! This article will help explain the difference between these two phrases.

You’ll learn their grammatical uses and explore 14 examples to further understand the distinction.

We’ll also address some common misconceptions and provide key takeaways to remember.

Get ready to gain a better understanding of in mind vs on mind!

Key Takeaways

  • ‘In mind’ and ‘on mind’ have different meanings and should be used accordingly.
  • ‘In mind’ refers to thinking about or considering something.
  • ‘On mind’ means something has prominence in one’s thoughts.
  • If constantly worrying about a problem, it is ‘on mind.’

Definition of “In Mind” and “On Mind”

You might be wondering what the difference between ‘in mind’ and ‘on mind’ is.

In simple terms, “in mind” refers to something that is in the process of being thought about, while “on mind” refers to something that has already been thought about and retained for future use.

To put it another way, when we have something “in mind” it has started to enter our thoughts but not yet fully developed or formed there. When we have something “on our minds” it has been considered and placed in memory storage.

For example, if you are thinking about going out for dinner tonight then you have the idea ‘going out for dinner’ in your mind; once you decide where to go, that idea would become ‘on your mind.’

Grammatical Use of “In Mind” and “On Mind”

When it comes to grammar, there’s a distinction between ‘in mind’ and ‘on mind’. The former is used when one has something in their thoughts or memory, while the latter means that someone is thinking about something at the moment.

Here are three key ways to use them:

  1. Use "in mind" when referring to an idea or plan that has been set and won’t change.

  2. Use "on mind" when referring to ideas or plans that are subject to change.

  3. Use either phrase when talking about what someone is currently thinking of. In this case, the context should determine which phrase is more suitable.

With careful consideration, using these phrases correctly adds clarity and precision to your writing.

Examples of “In Mind” and “On Mind”

Having examples of ‘in mind’ and ‘on mind’ can help one understand their use better.

For instance, if you want to say that something is remembered, you would use ‘in mind.’ An example of this could be: ‘I keep your advice in mind.’

When referring to something that affects or occupies the thoughts, ‘on mind’ is used. An example of this might be: ‘The upcoming exam is always on my mind.’

Additionally, if someone has a plan or idea in their head they could say: ‘I have an idea in my mind for how to go about this project.’

Finally, if someone keeps considering different possibilities they might say: ‘All these options are on my mind.’

Common Misconceptions

Many people mistakenly believe that ‘in mind’ and ‘on mind’ have the same meaning, when in fact they do not. These two phrases are actually used to convey different meanings.

Here are some common misconceptions about them:

1) In Mind is used to mean “having a thought” while On Mind means “focusing on something”.

2) In Mind is used to describe someone’s mental state, while On Mind is more focused on action or behavior.

3) In Mind conveys an idea or intention, while On Mind emphasizes awareness or attention.

These distinctions help us better understand how these two expressions can be used for different purposes and contexts. It’s important to be aware of the differences between them so that we can use them correctly and effectively convey our intended message.

Final Tips

When using these phrases, keep in mind that an important distinction exists between them. In mind refers to something you are thinking about or considering, while on mind means something has prominence in one’s thoughts.

For instance, if you are constantly worrying about a problem, it would be on your mind. In contrast, if you’re simply aware of a situation but not actively thinking about it, then it would be ‘in’ your mind.

Additionally, when saying something like ‘I have that project in mind,’ you’re implying that you will consider doing it at some future point.


It’s clear that there are distinct differences between "in mind" and "on mind."

While "in mind" is used to describe a thought or idea that someone already has, "on mind" focuses on the act of thinking about something.

With these examples, you should have a better understanding of how and when to use each phrase.

Remember, using the wrong term could lead to confusion.

Keep these distinctions in mind and your communication will be precise, clear, and accurate!