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I forgot versus I had forgot. What is the difference between the two phrases?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

"I forgot" is the simple past, expressing an action which took place once.

"I had forgotten" is is the simple past perfect, used to express an action taking place before a certain time in the past. This tense emphasizes what happened, not the duration thereof.

"I had forgot" is generally considered bad grammar, at least in my part of the US, because the correct past participle of "forgot" is "forgotten".

See http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/tenses for examples of all English tenses.

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The past particle can be both forgotten or forgot, in the same way the past participle of to get is gotten or got (New Oxford American Dictionary). –  kiamlaluno Aug 28 '10 at 21:14
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But have gotten and have got have completely different meanings in American English. –  user706 Aug 28 '10 at 22:41
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@kiamlaluno: there are regional variations; in British English, the past participles of "to forget" and "to get" are "forgotten" and "got" only. –  Steve Melnikoff Aug 29 '10 at 13:29

Kiamlaluno, 'I have forgotten' is the past perfect in British English and never 'I have forgot'. This is simply bad grammar in every other part of the English speaking world except some parts of the US. 'Gotten' is also very bad form in British English, so no sweeping rules please, many of us are not strictly governed by US common usage..

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