Friday, July 5

Never Mind vs. Forget It

Never mind” and “Forget it” are phrases used mainly in spoken English.

There are many situations in which we can use these phrases. But the situations are very similar to each other so they sometimes get mixed up inside a student’s brain, and using “Never Mind” and “Forget it” can get confusing.

Never Mind 

First, here are the different uses of “Never mind” : 

1. Don’t worry about it, Don’t care about it, It doesn’t matter


A: Too bad we didn’t win.

B: Never mind. At least we tried.

A: Oh no, the movie has already started.

B: Never mind. Let’s just watch it tomorrow.

A: Sorry about your car.

B: Never mind. I was going to wash it anyway.

A: I lost the book that I borrowed from you.

B: Well, never mind, I’ll just buy another copy.

2. It doesn’t matter anymore.


A: What did you say?

B: Never mind. I forgot.

Boyfriend: Did you say something?

Girlfriend: Never mind.

Grandson: Linda said she and Frank are…

Grandpa: I’m sorry?

Grandson: Linda said she and Frank…

Grandpa: Linda said what?

Grandson: Oh, never mind

(By the way, this example can be impolite)

A: Do you still want to go shopping?

B: No, never mind. It’s too late now.

A: Are you ready?

B: Yes. Where are the car keys? Oh, never mind! Found them!

3. It’s not important right now / I’ll take care of it / Something else is more important.


A: Cynthia, it’s been a long time. How are you?

B: Frank! Never mind me – what about you?  What have you been doing?

A: Thank you for a wonderful dinner.

B: It’s my pleasure. And never mind the dishes – I’ll do them later. Come to the living room with me.

4. used for emphasis (stronger meaning) 


He couldn’t graduate from high school, never mind university.

With this injury, I can hardly walk, never mind run.

I’m feeling cold here in England already, never mind Canada.

As you can see in some of our examples above, you can also say:

Never mind (about) + Noun


Never mind about the money.

Never mind me. I can get a ride with someone else.


Never mind + V+ing


Never mind checking on the kids. You’re supposed to be relaxing.


Never mind + why / how etc.


Never mind how much. Just tell me where I can buy it.

P.S. When you write or type “Never mind,” don’t forget to put a space between the two words. “Nevermind” as one word is a Noun and has a different meaning. In fact, it is an old usage.

Forget (about) It!

Forget about it” is another expression used mainly in spoken English. You can also say “Forget it.” There’s a slight difference between these two but, in the beginning, you can practice with either of them. 

Below are the situations in which we use “Forget about it” and “Forget it.” I have to tell you though that all of them are informal.

1. It’s  Nothing.


A: What did you say?

B: Forget it.

A: It’s too late now.

B: Excuse me?

A: Oh, nothing. Just forget it.

A: Sorry I didn’t call.

B: Forget it.

(Here you can also use “Never mind”)

2. You’re welcome


A: You did me a big favor!

B: Oh, forget it. It was nothing.

A: Thanks for saving my ass. (informal)

B: Forget about it! No problem!

(Here you cannot use “Never mind”)

3. Drop the topic! Don’t bother me with it! 


A: Is it true that you and Jane broke up?

B: Forget it. I don’t want to talk about it.

A: You still haven’t paid the bank.

B: Forget it!

(Here you can also use “Never mind”)

4. I don’t want to do it / It’s impossible 

(American English)


A: Can I borrow some cash?

B: Forget it, no way.

A: What about...? 

BIf you’re thinking of asking Tommy for help, you can forget it.

Don't Mind?

Among Japanese (and probably other nationalities as well), there’s an expression “Don’t mind” without an Object.

In Japan, it’s pronounced “donmai” and spelled this way: “ドンマイ.”    

I guess this expression started as a fusion of “Never mind” and “Don’t worry.”


Never mind + Don’t worry = Don’t mind

But we can’t use “Don’t mind” this way. As a command or as a request. Instead, we should add an Object or a Subject:

Don’t mind. = X

Don’t mind me / her. = Ok

I don’t mind. = Ok (different meaning)

So, please choose only one of these expressions. Don’t combine them:

Don’t worry. = Ok

Never mind. = Ok

If you want, you can still combine “don’t” and “mind,” but you have to make a much longer expression:

Don’t pay me / him any mind = Ok

Don’t pay it / that any mind = Ok

Don’t use it alone:

Don’t mind. = X

Never Mind = You’re welcome?

Some non-native speakers use “Never mind” in reply to a “Thank you.” This is probably because:

(1) It seems similar to “Don’t mention it.”

(2) It means “Forget about it” and “Don’t worry about it.” So it feels suitable to say it after a “Thank you.”  

But if you use “Never mind” after “Thank you,” you may in fact sound impolite. It sounds as if you don’t think the “Thank you” is important.

It’s better to stick with common expressions like “Don’t mention it” or “Not at all.” 

On the other hand, “Forget about it,” is a possible answer to a “Thank you.” But non-native speakers should be careful with their tone because they might sound aggressive when they say this.

In fact, this is a big difference between "Never mind" and "Forget it." Even though they have the same meaning in many situations, in this case, they're not the same. 


Don’t mention it. = Ok

Not at all. = Ok

Never mind. = X

Forget about it. = Ok

Aside from these expressions, you can also say:

You don’t have to thank me. = Ok

Forget it. = Ok 
(be careful with your tone)

Don’t speak of it again. = Ok

(It’s) No problem. = Ok

Lastly, try not to confuse “Never mind” with another expression “Do you mind?” or “I don’t mind.”

If you’d like to learn other expressions with the word “mind,” just click:

Hope You Learned Something!

Keep on learning !

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