In US and in UK respectively, which is more popular as the past participle of forget: forgotten or forgot? Which is more formal/informal?


I haven't forgot(ten) you.

You will not be forgot(ten).


The OED describes the use of the past participle forgot as 'archaic' and 'poetical'.

  • THanks! Can OED be used online and free?
    – Tim
    Nov 24 '11 at 16:39
  • @Tim:Yes, at <oed.com>, but it requires subscription. Those in the UK can have free access through their local public libraries. Nov 24 '11 at 16:41
  • Thanks, I didn't know that Barrie. Do you post your answers from the library?
    – z7sg Ѫ
    Nov 24 '11 at 16:58
  • @z7sg Ѫ: No, I have direct access from my home computer. Nov 24 '11 at 17:08
  • @Tim: I know, but, as I said, it's free to those in the UK with a public library card. Nov 24 '11 at 17:09

Grammatically speaking I don't really think haven't forgot is a cardinal sin compared to some usages that make it into popular parlance, but it does seem that people mostly get this one right.

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  • Thanks! I also wanted to try ngram, but didn't know which phrases are typical enough for search.
    – Tim
    Nov 24 '11 at 15:10
  • I wonder if the huge dip in the 1970s was due to the increased consumption of drugs. "I forgot, man!"
    – Polynomial
    Nov 24 '11 at 15:11
  • 1
    @Polynomial: Well, you know what they say - If you can remember the 70s, you weren't there! I think we mostly looked at comic books rather than the printed word. Nov 24 '11 at 16:30
  • @Tim: I probably over-use NGram - which isn't all that reliable, I admit. But in a case like this I think it's pretty convincing evidence that the ungrammatical version hasn't exactly shot to prominence. Nov 24 '11 at 16:34
  • Fascinating exchange! Especially the interpretation of the Ngram re the 70s. Thank you guys :)
    – user99696
    Dec 1 '14 at 16:27

Honestly speaking, as an educated southerner and an ESL instructor, I needed to look up the past participle of this word one more time. I interchange between the two without noticing. Sometimes I say, "I have forgot my keys." Sometimes I say, "She's forgotten her money." I would say both are accepted as past participle forms in the Appalachian region and southeastern United States. I heard my doctor say, "You haven't forgot what I told you, have ya?" He has a degree in medicine from Emory University. In my informal speech I often use words that the British stopped using hundreds of years ago. My ancestors wanted to keep a piece of the motherland (Great Britain) so they made a conscious effort to use words and phrases such as "gotten" and "yonder."


"I have forgot your name.", is the Present Tense in the Future Tense; while, "I have forgotten your name.," is the Past Tense in the Future Tense. ~ Adin Xol | @aobi_music

  • 1
    Can you cite some reference-work authority in support of your conclusion in this answer?
    – Sven Yargs
    Apr 11 '18 at 7:31
  • What does the Present/Past Tense in the Future Tense mean? So can I say "He has took an exam"? Or is "We have ate out last night" grammatical? No, no, no.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 11 '18 at 15:30

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