Confusing words: forget, leave
We use forget something and leave something differently.
Here are the important differences that English learners need to know:
We use forget something to say that we accidentally left something behind. We don’t say where.
- I’ve forgotten my phone – I’ll have to go back home for it.
- He got wet because he forgot his waterproof jacket.
We use leave something when we say where (at home, on the bus, etc.).
- I left my phone at home this morning and had to go back for it.
I forgot my phone at home.
- I left my umbrella on the bus.
I forgot my umbrella on the bus.
We also use leave something to say that it was intentional, i.e. it wasn’t a mistake:
- I left those books in the office because they’re too heavy to carry. I’ll bring them home in the car next week.
I forgot those books because they’re too heavy.
Now try this quick exercise and test yourself on forget and leave:
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