English Lesson: Never Mind!

MichaelADUncategorized 4 Comments

Yesterday we looked at the expression I don’t mind.  A reader from twitter to explain how to use the expression never mind. Do you know how to use this expression? Let’s look at a few examples:

Jack is having difficulty opening the door with his key.

Jack: I can’t open the door. Can you help me?
Bob: Sure, let me try.
Just then, Jack was able to open the door.
Jack: Never mind. I got it! Thanks anyway.

Jack used never mind in this situation because he wanted to withdraw or erase asking his friend for help. Here, never mind means please forget what I just asked.

Jane and Alice are friends. Yesterday morning, Jane sent Alice an email, but Alice never replied. Today, Jane runs into Alice at the mall:

Alice: Hi Jane!
Jane: Hi Alice. Didn’t you see the email I sent yesterday?
Alice: No. My laptop is broken.
Jane: Never mind then. I wrote to tell you….

Jane used never mind in this situation because she wanted to show that Alice not reading the email was not important. Jane and Alice are together now, so Jane can tell Alice the information that was in the Email. Here never mind means you can forget about the email.

So, we use never mind when we want someone to disregard or forget about something we just said. The thing we just said is no longer important or relevant to the conversation any more.  Here is another example:

Brad caught a cold a few days ago, and he has been taking medicine from the doctor for it. Brad went to a party with his girlfriend Angelina. Angelina sees Brad drinking a cocktail.

          Angelina: Why are you drinking liquor? You are taking medicine for your cold!
          Brad: But I am feeling better and I want to enjoy the party.
          Angelina: Never mind wanting to enjoy the party. You should think of your health first!

Angelina used never mind in this situation because she strongly disagrees with Brad’s statement and she wants to stop thinking about having fun and start thinking of his health. Here, never mind means don’t think about what you just said.

So, never mind has the meaning of forget about or disregard or don’t think about what I just said. Never mind is used just as a two word phrase, as shown in the conversations above. This is much different from I don’t mind as we studied yesterday.

Well, thanks for studying with me today. Feel free to leave a comment or send me your suggestions and requests for a one point lesson.

Comments

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Comments 4

  1. My boss canceled a meeting just 1 minute before the time. He sent me a note saying sorry… So, in my response, I started with “Never mind” and he asked why never mind. He said I expressed my frustration.

    Was I correct to use the expression “never mind” in the above situation? I meant it did not matter and he needed not to feel sorry about cancellation.

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Winnie,

      We do not use “never mind” in that situation.
      A: Sorry, I have to cancel the meeting
      B: I don’t mind / Don’t worry about it / No problem < all of these are appropriate answers Jack: Hi Bob, What's up? Bob: Can you lend me a pen? Jack: Sure. Bob: Oh, never mind. I just found one. Does that help? Michael 🙂

      1. That was a very natural-sounding example of using “never mind” MIchael. What do you think of our JH textbook here in Japan’s way of using it?
        A: Carlos! We’ve been waiting for you for 15 minutes!
        C: Sorry, the bus was late.
        A: Never mind. Today we’ll cut the grass at …..

        Thanks!

        1. Hi Julie,
          I think we don’t reply to an apology using “never mind.” You can reply to an apology with “no problem” or “do’t worry about it.”
          Thanks for asking 🙂

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