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  1. #1
    roseriver1012's Avatar
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    Default can"don't mention it"be used to answer"sorry"?

    just a simple question. can "don't mention it" be used to answer "sorry"? the longman dictionary doesn't mention such use, but some websites say yes. i am confused! anyone can help me? thanks!
    by the way ,there is one example about that:
    --I'm sorry to have kept you waiting.
    --_________
    A. You're welcome B. Go ahead C. Don't mention it D. No problem
    Which choice would you prefer?

  2. #2
    Borophyll is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: can"don't mention it"be used to answer"sorry"?

    I would say that (d) would be the best response. You usually reply 'Don't mention it' when someone thanks you. I have never personally heard this response as a reply to an apology. However, if someone said this as a reply to an apology, it would not sound strange. That is, I would understand this reply as saying 'I accept your apology'.

    However, as this is probably more of an American idiom (I am Australian), I could not say for sure.

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    Default Re: can"don't mention it"be used to answer"sorry"?

    I am a chinese, and I found on many chinese websites some explanations about the expression"don't mention it" that it can be used to reply to an apology. but according to some standard examinations in china, it seems to be not right. thanks a lot for Borophyll's response. But is there an american or a british man who can give me sth for sure?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: can"don't mention it"be used to answer"sorry"?

    I'm not a man. Do you want my opinion anyway?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    Linguist__ is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: can"don't mention it"be used to answer"sorry"?

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    I am a chinese, and I found on many chinese websites some explanations about the expression"don't mention it" that it can be used to reply to an apology. but according to some standard examinations in china, it seems to be not right. thanks a lot for Borophyll's response. But is there an american or a Briton who can give me sth for sure?
    (Not a teacher)

    I would say if the question is multuple choice, and the choices include "No problem" and "Don't mention it", then "no problem" is 'more' correct (or less standard).

    However, no native person can give you something for sure as it will differ from country to country, region to region, city to city, person to person.

    Basically, if person A says, "sorry" and person B says something positive (and appropriate) in reply, person A will assume the apology has been accepted.

    This could be: "No problem", "That's okay", "You're alright", "No harm done", "Don't mention it" and so on.

    You could even say another one of the original choices; "Go ahead" as long as it was appopriate. For example, you open a door just as someone was about to walk through it. They say, "sorry", and you say, "go ahead" to let them past.
    Last edited by Linguist__; 22-Dec-2009 at 04:20. Reason: Added the part in red

  6. #6
    evanidus is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: can"don't mention it"be used to answer"sorry"?

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    just a simple question. can "don't mention it" be used to answer "sorry"? the longman dictionary doesn't mention such use, but some websites say yes. i am confused! anyone can help me? thanks!
    by the way ,there is one example about that:
    --I'm sorry to have kept you waiting.
    --_________
    A. You're welcome B. Go ahead C. Don't mention it D. No problem
    Which choice would you prefer?

    I would choose option D ass you use "Don't mention it" and "You're welcome" where someone thanks you for doing something for him. "Go ahead", I feel will be used when someone asks you if he/she can do something relating to you.... this is my opinion.

  7. #7
    roseriver1012's Avatar
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    Default Re: can"don't mention it"be used to answer"sorry"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linguist__ View Post
    (Not a teacher)

    I would say if the question is multuple choice, and the choices include "No problem" and "Don't mention it", then "no problem" is 'more' correct (or less standard).

    However, no native person can give you something for sure as it will differ from country to country, region to region, city to city, person to person.

    Basically, if person A says, "sorry" and person B says something positive (and appropriate) in reply, person A will assume the apology has been accepted.

    This could be: "No problem", "That's okay", "You're alright", "No harm done", "Don't mention it" and so on.

    You could even say another one of the original choices; "Go ahead" as long as it was appopriate. For example, you open a door just as someone was about to walk through it. They say, "sorry", and you say, "go ahead" to let them past.
    really appreciate your detailed explanation and your correction of my "British man". I had thought of using "Englishman" and it suddenly occured to me that it might offend some. You know, in china, we were only taught to call the people in Uk "englishmen". I know it is not proper! And I love this forum!

  8. #8
    roseriver1012's Avatar
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    Default Re: can"don't mention it"be used to answer"sorry"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I'm not a man. Do you want my opinion anyway?
    sorry, I can't get your point.

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    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: can"don't mention it"be used to answer"sorry"?

    You referred specifically to getting answers from men.

    There are a number of women on this forum who might be able to help, but you didn't ask for their opinion.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  10. #10
    roseriver1012's Avatar
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    Default Re: can"don't mention it"be used to answer"sorry"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    You referred specifically to getting answers from men.

    There are a number of women on this forum who might be able to help, but you didn't ask for their opinion.
    well, my fault. when i said British man i meant British people in my mind. please forgive a non-native speaker.

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