4

It seems they both mean never mind in the following examples:

Sorry for what happened yesterday
Forget it.

or

Can I buy you a drink?
Forget about it.

What are the differences between forget about it and forget it?

3
  • 1
    The obvious point is of course the meaning of forget about it: "Forget about it" is, like, if you agree with someone, you know, like "Raquel Welch is one great piece of ass. Forget about it!" But then, if you disagree, like "A Lincoln is better than a Cadillac? Forget about it!" You know? But then, it's also like if something's the greatest thing in the world, like, "Minghia! Those peppers! Forget about it!" But it's also like saying "Go to hell!" too. Like, you know, like "Hey Paulie, you got a one-inch pecker?" and Paulie says "Forget about it!" Sometimes it just means "Forget about it."
    – oerkelens
    Jan 6 '15 at 11:19
  • (Of course, that quote comes from Donnie Brasco, and I copied it from imdb )
    – oerkelens
    Jan 6 '15 at 11:20
  • @oerkelens Surely you mean fuggedaboudit. (Yes, I know I shouldn't call you Shirley.)
    – bib
    Jan 6 '15 at 13:02
10

For me, forget about it is used more or less neutrally to mean Nevermind, don't worry about it.For example, you are at a restaurant and you order a Coke with your meal. Your waitress brings your meal, along with the bill, but not the Coke. She realizes it immediately and says she'll go get it, but you say, "No no, forget about it! It's not important", because you don't want to trouble her with writing up a new bill just for a Coke.

Forget it, on the other hand, is used negatively, with a strong hint of exasperation/annoyance/anger. For example, you are at a restaurant and you get into an argument with the waitress because she charged you for a Coke that you never ordered or even received. In the end, you say, "Ok, forget it. I'll pay for the damn Coke."

1
  • I agree, and actually really like your explanation here. I'm trying to figure out the extent of overlap between the two. I think forget about it can replace forget it if said angrily, but it sounds weirder to swap forget it for forget about it.
    – Gerger
    Jan 6 '15 at 16:02
0

In literal usage, the oblivion indicated by "forget about it" is perhaps of broader scope than the oblivion indicated by "forget it". Eg: forgetting about a number suggests that one is no longer aware even that one is supposed to remember it.

Whether that nice distinction is maintained in the figurative assurances "Forget it" and "Forget about it" (so that "forget about it" implies a more complete absolution) is doubtful.

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