A lot of my students have told me that have trouble with the phrase never mind. Today, I want to show you how to use this English language phrase in your everyday conversations. Have a look at the dialog below:
- Jack: I had a great time at the concert last night.
- Jen: Who was playing?
- Jack: What did you say?
- Jen: I said, “who was playing?”
- Jack: What?
- Jen: Never mind, I don’t want to repeat myself again.
- Jack: Sorry, the music was so loud, I still can’t hear anything this morning!
Jack use never mind here to mean “don’t pay attention to what I said” or “forget about it.”
Here is another example:
- Jack is having difficulty opening a lock with his key.
- Jack: I can’t open this lock. Can you help me?
- Bob: Sure, let me try.
- Jack: Oh, never mind. I got it! Thanks anyway.
Just as Bob was ready to help Jack, he was finally able to open the door. 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.
Let’s look at another example:
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, so we say never mind.
Have you needed to use never mind this way recently? Leave a comment below and let me know!
If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them.
Thanks for studying today!
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