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Session 40

Have you ever wondered when to use 'forget to do' and when to use 'forget doing'? Watch James explain in this English In A Minute.

Activity 1

Forget to do vs Forget doing

Let James teach you when we say 'forget to do' and 'forget doing' in this English In A Minute.

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James

Hi everyone. James from BBC Learning English here. Today, we're going to look at the difference between forget to do and forget doing.

Take a look at these examples:

I forgot to lock the door.

I forgot locking the door.

Notice the difference in the way that I said these examples.

When we use the verb forget followed by the infinitive with ‘to’, it means that you were supposed to do something, but you didn’t actually do it.

So, I was supposed to lock the door, but I didn’t.

However, when you we use the verb forget followed by an –ing verb, it means that you did do something, but you have no memory of it.

So I did lock the door, but I don't recall it.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the BBC Learning English channel. Bye everyone!

Forget to do vs Forget doing

Forget to do

We use the verb forget followed by the infinitive with ‘to’ to mean that you were supposed to do something, but you didn’t actually do it.

  • I forgot to feed the cat. He's really hungry.
  • I forget to call my wife. She's upset.

Forget doing

We use the verb forget followed by an –ing verb to means that you did do something, but you have no memory of it.

  • I had forgotten going to Paris until I saw the photos.
  • I had forgotten calling my wife until she reminded me.

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