I <forgot><had forgotten> about you

JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Context:

I met my language partner (an American English speaker) on social media, and we had a conversation that day on Skype. About a month has passed since then, and none of us has contacted the other. All of a sudden, he sends me a message on Skype the text of which is the sentence below.

Sample sentence:

Sorry, I forgot about you. We can have a call on Thursday if you want (half Russian and half English). I am rarely on Skype. You can add me on Facebook.

Question:

Does the past perfect "had forgotten" work in place of the simple past "forgot" in the context given? I'm wondering about both British and American English.


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • BLUEGLAZE

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    No. 'Had forgotten' does not work. Nothing has happened since we last spoke.
    I simply forgot to get in touch with you again.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    To use the past perfect there needs to be a time reference in the past - I had forgotten (and then something happened). There isn’t any such reference in your example.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for your responses, BLUEGLAZE, Glasguensis and DonnyB.

    My question to Glasguensis and BLUEGLAZE. Here are a couple of statements made by a British English speaker:
    "I had forgotten" implies "I have recently remembered/realised once more ...."
    Is this correct in your book?
    "I had forgotten how beautiful you are" means "I forgot some time ago how beautiful you are, but when I saw you just now I remembered."
    Would you say "I forgot how beautiful you are" instead using the simple past to convey this "I forgot some time ago how beautiful you are, but when I saw you just now I remembered"? Thanks.
     
    Last edited:

    BLUEGLAZE

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Until I remembered I was in a state of forgetting. I had forgotten until I remembered.
    Without a timeline like something was due in the past and I had forgotten that it was coming due,
    then the past perfect doesn't quite fit.
    A correct example: I had forgotten about that appointment last April and so had to reschedule it. All of this is in the past.
    Conversationally, people say ungrammatical things that fall into the rhythm of their speech. I don't stress about it.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for the response, BLUEGLAZE.

    Does the simple past "forgot" work in this sentence if I saw a women just now and remembered how beautiful she is:

    I forgot how beautiful you are.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    For me the past perfect works and the simple past sounds odd. There is an implied « until I saw you again ».
     
    I forgot how beautiful you are.
    I would be happy to hear this no matter what form of the verb is used ;), but I have no problem with the simple past tense forgot as long as it's up to me to choose the context (hint, hint). Here's the scenario: I met a man yesterday who considers me the love of his life :rolleyes:. Today when I see him again (he had tickets to the National Museum of African American History and Culture), he says with awe, "I forgot how beautiful you are." "I had forgotten how beautiful you are" works just as well. Like I said, any form of the verb folks :)

    Just to complicate things further, one can say, I forget how beautiful you are, meaning that between times when I see you, I (always) forget how beautiful you are😍
     
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