Today one of my coworkers sent an email saying:

Dear X, Please don't miss to send Y's laptop to the support today.

I kindly replied to him alone saying that it should've been:

Dear X, Please don't forget* ...

He told me that "miss" can be used in this context. Well my English isn't perfect, hence my question:

Is the word miss usable in that context?

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    @Fattie I am not "learning" english, I was just confused if this is actually something normal to say, specially that it's supposed to be a formal email. Anyhow, if this question is supposed to be in the ELL site then community can vote to transfer it there I suppose?
    – Paul Karam
    Aug 29, 2018 at 10:18
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    Was you coworker Indian? Aug 29, 2018 at 20:57
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    It seems as though the sense of the sentence may be something like "Please don't miss the opportunity to send Y's laptop to the support [team] today."
    – Sven Yargs
    Aug 31, 2018 at 5:10

3 Answers 3


The Oxford English Dictionary includes this usage under miss, v.1 II.5.a, but marks it archaic:

trans. To fail (to do something). With gerund, infinitive (now arch.), or (occasionally in Middle English) that-clause as object.

The construction seems to be alive and well in Indian English, either as a survival of the archaic construction or as an independent innovation; "don't miss to" gets plenty of Google-hits, many of them obviously Indian in origin.

Whether you consider it "usable" will probably depend on whether you're OK with using archaic constructions and/or Indian English. If not — e.g., if you want to sound like a native speaker — then you should avoid it.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – MetaEd
    Aug 30, 2018 at 19:50

Miss doesn't really work as it was used in your question. The only way I can think it could work is if you're referring to a complicated task with multiple sub-tasks.

When returning your laptop please do the following.

  • Remove work data
  • Uninstall un-approved applications
  • Change password
  • Mail back to home office

Please don't miss any of the above steps because they are all important.

(although "forget" probably still makes more sense) The way "miss" makes sense is via metaphorical reference to a task where spots could be "missed" such as cleaning a floor "You missed a spot over there" you didn't forget it so much as fail to complete the task because some portion of the task was skipped. Another acceptable usage would be:

Fed Ex shipments must be received by 2PM. Please don't miss that deadline when you drop the laptop off.


Wherefore dost thou thinketh this construction shalt not be used?

It is not wrong, per se. But the intransitive use of miss as a failure to get, reach, or do something is considered archaic according to Miriam Webster. Many other dictionaries do not even consider it a correct usage.

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    Welcome to English Language & Usage. We like to see answers with solid explanations and authoritative references. Perhaps you could edit your answer to provide more detail and some links to support it? Also, you might want to take the site tour and read through the help center. Aug 29, 2018 at 21:11
  • What is that first sentence supposed to be? Why is it so pseudo-archaic (but utterly ungrammatical)? Oct 9, 2018 at 17:12

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