Mean + gérondif exprime le résultat d'une action, ou ce qui sera nécessaire suite à une action. Le mot mean pourrait être remplacé par le mot involve (implique).

Exemples
  • If you take that job in London it will mean travelling for two hours every day.
  • We could take the ferry to France, but that will mean spending a night in a hotel.
  • Buying this jacket now means not buying another until next year.
  • Leaving school would mean finding a job.

Mean + l'infinitif exprime une intention ou un projet. Le mot mean pourrait être remplacé par le mot intend (avoir l'intention).

Exemples
  • Did you mean to dial this number?
  • I mean to finish this job by the end of the week!
  • I didn't mean to hurt you.
  • I meant to return the books on time.