'Don't mention it' as a reply to an apology.

Fredziu

Senior Member
Polish
Hello everyone,

It says in one of my coursebooks that the following expressions can be used as a reply to an apology: No problem. / That's all right. / It's OK. / Don't mention it.
On the same page there is an exercise in which you're supposed to choose proper reactions to what people say, and here's one example:

A: I'm so sorry I couldn't come to your New Year's Eve party.
B: ...


The options to choose from for B are:
1) Don't mention it.
2) That's all right.

The key provides 2) as the correct answer. I'd be more likely to choose 2) as well, but would 1) sound wrong in that context?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    1) sound wrong in that context?
    It would sound fairly strange to me if you used it in that context, Fred. Don't mention it is sometimes used in response to Thank you, but it sounds odd in response to somebody's apology.

    That's all right sounds like a normal expression of forgiveness.
     

    Fredziu

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thank you, owlman5. Yes, I've seen a similar explanation on this forum. On the other hand, some native speakers suggested the expression "don't mention it" as a possible reply to an apology. Could it be some kind of regional difference, or maybe it's used in British English?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Maybe it is, Fred. I don't hear Don't mention it in that context over here. I sometimes hear things like Don't worry about it or It's no big deal.
     
    Last edited:

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Owlman's observations in #4 go for BE too.

    We sometimes use "don't mention it" when someone thanks us, but not when they apologise.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Agreed. 'Don't mention it' sounds bizarre to me as a response to an apology. You could say, 'There's no need to apologise', I suppose.
     
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