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    #1

    Sorry...--Don't mention it.

    A Taiwan published English-Chinese dictionary says when someone say sorry to us, we can answer 'Don't mention it'. Is that the case? Thanks.

    By the way, when people say thank you or say sorry to us, can we answer 'Forget it'?


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    #2

    Re: Sorry...--Don't mention it.

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    A Taiwan published English-Chinese dictionary says when someone say sorry to us, we can answer 'Don't mention it'. Is that the case? Thanks.

    By the way, when people say thank you or say sorry to us, can we answer 'Forget it'?
    There has to be a context when you are being polite.

    Case #1 Someone bumps into you and says "Sorry"

    You would not say "Don't mention it." Why? Because they did not say anything to be sorry for. They bumped you. So the proper casual response might be

    Person 1: (as he bumps into you) "Sorry!"
    Person 2: "That's ok!" or "No problem!"

    Case#2 Someone has done something that has hurt you for some reason.

    Person 1: "Sorry! I didn't mean to say that"
    Person 2: "Forget about it!" or "That's ok!" or "No problem!" or "No harm done!"

    You would not say "Don't mention it!" when someone is saying they are sorry. You use this as a response when someone is thanking you.

    Person 1: "Thank you for helping me."
    Person 2: "Don't mention it! I was glad to help."

  1. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
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    #3

    Re: Sorry...--Don't mention it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Naamplao View Post
    Case #1 Someone bumps into you and says "Sorry"

    You would not say "Don't mention it." Why? Because they did not say anything to be sorry for. They bumped you.
    Intrerestingly, in Britain, both people will say "Sorry". This is something most visitors comment on, but it is a conditioned reflex: people don't say it because they are truly sorry for having stood in the way, but because that's what gets said in these situations.


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    #4

    Re: Sorry...--Don't mention it.

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss View Post
    Intrerestingly, in Britain, both people will say "Sorry". This is something most visitors comment on, but it is a conditioned reflex: people don't say it because they are truly sorry for having stood in the way, but because that's what gets said in these situations.
    Canadians are known for their profuse use of "please", "thank you", "sorry" and "excuse me"

  2. #5

    Re: Sorry...--Don't mention it.

    I'm with my fellow Canadian Raamplao on this one. Canadians are extremely polite in their use of words, such as the expressions we're discussing.

    In the case of the the two who bump, if the first one says "Sorry" the second would likely say "Sorry" or "Excuse me."

    More and more nowadays, people are answering "Thank you" by saying "No problem." I hate this, but maybe I'm just old and grouchy. To me the correct response is "You're welcome."

    But don't say "forget it." The expression can be quite rude, and a student of English needs a lot of experience and confidence to use it correctly.

    Tricky language, eh?
    edward

    Quote Originally Posted by Naamplao View Post
    Canadians are known for their profuse use of "please", "thank you", "sorry" and "excuse me"

  3. blouen's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Sorry...--Don't mention it.

    Here in Manila, where places are usually crowded, saying "sorry" as you bumped on somebody is not a norm. In most cases, people just do the gesture putting up their hands showing their palm to the other person like the "stop gesture", and then nod. This serves as the "sorry" that we couldn't say since both might be in a hurry or the place might be too crowded and noisy for both to hear each other. The other person will just answer with a nod. We do say sorry but in a whisper.

    Though some do say sorry(aloud) at times, including me, but only when we bumped somebody and that we need to stay/stand in the same area like waiting for the bus or the tram. This is also automatic and not so heartfelt, I think.

  4. #7

    Re: Sorry...--Don't mention it.

    Interesting. Thanks, Blouen.
    edward

  5. #8

    Re: Sorry...--Don't mention it.

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    A Taiwan published English-Chinese dictionary says when someone say sorry to us, we can answer 'Don't mention it'. Is that the case? Thanks.
    I sometimes hear : 讲点别的, which has almost the same meaning (don't mention it, talk about something else), but not as a reply to sorry.

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