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  1. Elena Vdovina
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    #1

    usage of phrase "I forget"

    I am not native speaker of English and I am still learning it.
    I hear a lot of usage of phrase "I forget". As far as I studied at school Present Indefinite Tense should be used with such words like "usually, always, every day, etc". My friend is using it all the time instead of Past tense, or Past Perfect tense. Ex: What did you do last week-end? Oh, I forget." "Where is your key? - I forget them." "What time is she coiming? - I forgtet." I feel that it is better to use " I forgot or I have forgotten" or even "I do not remember". Please tell me what is right.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
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    #2

    Re: usage of phrase "I forget"

    Quote Originally Posted by Elena Vdovina View Post
    I am not native speaker of English and I am still learning it.
    I hear a lot of usage of phrase "I forget". As far as I studied at school Present Indefinite Tense should be used with such words like "usually, always, every day, etc".

    Presnt simple tense is often used with a time adjunct [addition] like the ones you mentioned, Elena but it doesn't have to have a time word added.

    Examples:

    I live in Moscow. I eat fish on Fridays. I like pizza.

    We often use verbs denoting a state in the present tense and 'forget is one of them. But this 'state' tends to denote a condition that, at least leans strongly towards permanence.


    My friend is using it [OR "My friend uses it"] all the time instead of Past tense, or Past Perfect tense.

    Ex:
    What did you do last week-end? Oh, I forget."

    "What time is she coming? - I forget."

    It's natural to use the present simple tense for these two situations. Your friend is saying that she is in a 'state of forgetfulness' on this issue. Her forgetting is at least semi-permanent; she might always forget on these issues or she might remember. "I forget" means the same here as "I do not [don't] remember".


    "Where is your key? - I forget them."

    Here, it is strange English. Here the meaning states that "it's my habit to forget them/I routinely forget them.


    I feel that it is better to use " I forgot or I have forgotten" or even "I do not remember". Please tell me what is right.

    You could, of course, use the past tense or even the present perfect. The present perfect is used when the speaker wants to add importance/current relevance to a past action.
    zz

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