Last updated on October 30th, 2023 at 02:34 pm
What’s the past tense for forget?
Before we forget the topic of today’s post: what’s the correct past tense of the verb, to forget? If you have forgotten, stick around to refresh your memory.
Which is correct: forget, forgot, forgotten?
To forget, defined by Collins Dictionary, is “to not remember to do something that you ought to do, or to bring or buy something that you ought to bring or buy”. For example, you might say, ‘I was in such a rush that I had forgotten to bring sunscreen to the beach’ (which is in the past perfect tense).
Verb forms of forget
|simple||I forget||I forgot||I will forget|
|continuous||I am forgetting||I was forgetting||I will be forgetting|
|perfect||I have forgotten||I had forgotten||I will have forgotten|
|perfect continuous||I have been forgetting||I had been forgetting||I will have been forgetting|
Forget is the present tense: I forget to buy milk every time I go to the store.
Forgot is the simple past: I forgot to call him back yesterday.
Forgetting is the present participle: They are forgetting about their responsibilities.
Forgets is third-person present singular: She often forgets her keys at home.
Forgotten is also the past participle: I had forgotten where I put my glasses.
What’s the difference between forgot and forgotten?
Take a look at these sentences which shows the past tense vs. the past participle form of forget:
Simple past tense: She forgot her friend’s birthday and felt terrible about it.
Past perfect tense: She had forgotten to pack her toothbrush for the trip.
- Perfect tenses use the past participle form of the verb (e.g., forgotten). To create the past perfect or present perfect tense, we pair the auxiliaries had/have with the past participle verb form, e.g., had forgotten/have forgotten.
- The simple past tense just uses the simple past verb conjugation, without any additional verbs required.
Examples of forget in the present tense
I am forgetting my worries and enjoying the present moment. (Present participle)
She is always forgetting her appointments. (Present participle)
They are forgetting about their responsibilities. (Present participle)
I forget to buy milk every time I go to the store.
She often forgets her keys at home. (Third-person present singular)
They forget to turn off the lights before leaving.
Examples of forgot in the past tense
I forgot to pick up the groceries on my way home from work.
She forgot her friend’s birthday and felt terrible about it.
They forgot to set their alarm clock and overslept this morning.
She forgot her umbrella at the restaurant last night.
We forgot to lock the door when we left for vacation.
Examples of forgotten as a participle (in sentences)
The old photo album had been forgotten in the attic for years.
She had forgotten to pack her toothbrush for the trip.
They had completely forgotten about their anniversary until their friends reminded them.
The important meeting had been forgotten amidst the chaos of the day.
He realized he had forgotten his wallet at home when he reached the cashier.
Words that are similar to forget
- leave behind
- fail to recall
- let slip
- lose track of
The origin of forget
From etymology online on forget (v.):
Old English forgietan “lose the power of recalling to the mind; fail to remember; neglect inadvertently,” from for-, used here probably with privative force, “away, amiss, opposite” + gietan “to grasp”.
Learn more about verbs
- What are regular and irregular verbs?
- Transitive and intransitive verbs?
- What are verbs?
- What’re personal pronouns?
- What’s the difference between they’re, their, and there?
- Whose vs who’s?
- What’s the difference between invoke and evoke?
1. Harper, Douglas. “Etymology of forget.” Online Etymology Dictionary, https://www.etymonline.com/word/forget. Accessed 30 May, 2023.