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"I forgot" and "I almost forgot" appear to be interchangeable phrases meaning "I did not remember". But the fact that I hear the longer one used more commonly (especially in scripted television or literature) leads me to think that there is some special meaning conveyed; otherwise the simpler phrase would probably be used instead.

So what is the difference between "I forgot" and "I almost forgot"? Examples using the two phrases would be very much appreciated.

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  • When you almost forget something you remember it at the last moment. When you forget something you never remember it at all.
    – Jim
    Sep 21, 2015 at 4:33
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    When you Almost forget something, you usually are saved from forgetting about it by something that happens to remind you of it.
    – Jim
    Sep 21, 2015 at 4:35
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    @Jim I would dispute that when you forget something that you never remember it. Otherwise why would you ever use the word forgot. If you never remembered that you had forgotten something, you would not know that you had forgotten it, would you?
    – WS2
    Sep 21, 2015 at 7:50
  • @WS2 well you never remember it when it matters. If your mother asked you to take out the garbage and she comes home and sees that you haven’t and questions you about it you will claim, “I forgot”- that is, you never remembered to do it when you were supposed to. Now the truck has already come and gone and it’s too late.
    – Jim
    Sep 21, 2015 at 14:36
  • @Jim But my guess is that when your mother mentioned it, you remembered that you had forgotten - unless that is you were losing your memory at a young age!
    – WS2
    Sep 21, 2015 at 20:37

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