Discover How to Say ‘To Forget’ in Japanese – Unleash Your Language Skills

Learning a new language can be a thrilling experience, and adding the Japanese language to your repertoire can be especially enriching. To excel in expressing yourself in Japanese, it is essential to learn the different ways to say ‘to forget.’ By doing so, you will elevate your language proficiency and cultural understanding. In this section, we will dive into the Japanese word for ‘forget’ and explore various translations and phrases that can help you communicate effectively.

As you begin your journey to learn how to say ‘to forget’ in Japanese, it is crucial to remember that the language contains unique grammar rules and specific words that express the concept. By mastering these nuances, you can create meaningful expressions that accurately convey your thoughts and ideas.

Whether you are planning a trip to Japan or seeking to expand your linguistic repertoire, this section will provide you with essential insights into how to say ‘to forget’ in Japanese. So, let’s delve into the different ways you can express this concept in the Japanese language, from the common translations to the cultural significance of forgetting in Japanese society.

Understanding the Japanese Word for ‘Forget’

When it comes to expressing ‘to forget’ in Japanese, it’s crucial to understand the specific word and verb used. In Japanese, the phrase for forget is ‘wasurete shimau’ (忘れてしまう), which translates to ‘to end up forgetting.’ This phrase uses the verb ‘wasurete’ to convey the action of forgetting, which is combined with ‘shimau’ to express completion or finality.

The verb ‘wasurete’ is made up of two parts, ‘wasure’ and ‘te.’ ‘Wasure’ means ‘to forget,’ while ‘te’ is a grammatical particle that indicates the verb is being used in its present progressive form. By using the present progressive form of the verb, you can express the ongoing nature of forgetting something.

Additionally, there are other verbs used to convey different aspects of forgetting in Japanese. For example, ‘wasureru’ (忘れる) means ‘to forget,’ while ‘wasurerarenai’ (忘れられない) means ‘unable to forget.’ Understanding the nuances of these verbs can enhance your language proficiency and accuracy when communicating in Japanese.


When using ‘wasurete shimau’ to express forgetting, it’s essential to keep in mind the context and tone of the conversation. As this phrase has connotations of finality, it may not be suitable for all situations. In some cases, using alternative phrases or verbs may be more appropriate.

Common Translations of ‘Forget’ in Japanese

When it comes to expressing ‘to forget’ in Japanese, there are various common translations and phrases. Here are some of the most frequently used ones that you should be aware of:

Japanese Phrase English Translation
忘れる (Wasure-ru) to forget
失念する (Shitsunen-suru) to forget, to fail to remember
思い出せない (Omoi-dasenai) can’t remember
思い出すことができない (Omoi-dasu koto ga dekinai) can’t recall

Using these different phrases will allow you to express forgetting in different contexts. For instance, 忘れる (Wasure-ru) is a common phrase that can be used in everyday conversation. However, if you want to convey a more formal tone, you can use 失念する (Shitsunen-suru). Similarly, if you can’t remember something, you can use either 思い出せない (Omoi-dasenai) or 思い出すことができない (Omoi-dasu koto ga dekinai) depending on the situation.

Using ‘Forget’ in Japanese Sentences

Now that you have an understanding of the Japanese word for ‘forget,’ it’s time to explore how to use it in sentences. In Japanese, sentence structure is different than what you may be used to in English. Sentences typically begin with the topic, followed by the subject and verb.

Let’s take a look at an example sentence:

English Japanese
I forgot my keys. 鍵を忘れました。

Here, the topic is implied to be the speaker. The subject is ‘keys’ or 鍵 (kagi), followed by the phrase ‘to forget,’ or 忘れました (wasuremashita).

It’s important to note that in Japanese, the verb tense changes depending on the level of politeness or formality required. For example, in the above sentence, the informal past tense form of ‘to forget,’ 忘れた (wasureta), can also be used in casual conversation with friends.

Another important aspect of using ‘forget’ in Japanese sentences is the use of particles. Particles are small words that are added to the end of words to indicate their grammatical function in the sentence.

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Let’s take a look at another example sentence:

English Japanese
Did you forget to buy milk? 牛乳を買い忘れましたか?

In this sentence, the particle を (wo) is added after ‘milk’ to indicate that it is the object of the sentence. The phrase ‘to forget to do something’ is expressed using the verb 買い忘れました (kaiwasuremashita).

Using Negative Form

Another important aspect of using ‘forget’ in Japanese is the negative form. In English, we often use the phrase ‘don’t forget’ to remind someone of something. In Japanese, the negative form is used instead. For example:

English Japanese
Don’t forget to call me. 私に電話しないで忘れないでください。

In this sentence, the negative form of ‘to forget,’ 忘れないで (wasurenaide), is used with the particle で (de) to indicate the manner in which the action should not be done.

By understanding the proper sentence structure, verb tense, and use of particles, you can effectively use ‘forget’ in Japanese sentences.

Expanding Your Vocabulary with Synonyms for ‘Forget’

Along with the primary word for ‘forget’ in Japanese, there are several synonyms that can help you enrich your vocabulary. Here are some common Japanese words for ‘forget’ and their translations:

Japanese Word Translation
忘れる To forget
失念する To forget, fail to remember
忘却する To forget, oblivion

By incorporating these synonyms into your language practice, you can expand your vocabulary and better express yourself in different contexts. For example, using ‘失念する’ instead of ‘忘れる’ can convey a more formal and serious tone.

It is important to note that each of these synonyms has its own connotations and nuances. Therefore, it is essential to familiarize yourself with their usage in context to use them effectively.

Take the time to learn these different expressions for ‘forget’ in Japanese, and you will enhance your language skills and deepen your appreciation for the complexity and richness of the language.

Cultural Significance of ‘Forgetting’ in Japanese Society

The concept of ‘forgetting’ in Japanese culture holds significant importance. It is considered a form of social lubrication, where the act of forgetting is seen as a way to maintain harmony. Japanese society places great emphasis on group harmony, and social norms dictate that individuals should avoid confrontation and prioritize the collective. This cultural value is reflected in the language, where there are various ways to express forgetting in a polite and indirect manner.

In Japanese society, the act of forgetting is also associated with forgiving. When someone forgets a wrongdoing, it is seen as a way of letting go of the past and moving forward. This attitude towards forgetting and forgiving is reflected in Japanese politics and international relations, where past grievances are often forgotten or ignored in the interest of maintaining positive relations.

Japanese Phrase for Forget Meaning
Wasureta To have forgotten
Wasureru To forget
Kioku-shi To erase from memory

It is also important to note that forgetting in Japanese culture is not always seen as positive. In some instances, forgetting can be a sign of disrespect or neglect. For example, forgetting a friend’s birthday or an important work deadline is considered rude and unprofessional.

However, in general, Japanese society places greater emphasis on the positive aspects of forgetting and the role it plays in maintaining group harmony. By understanding the cultural significance of forgetting in Japanese society, you can effectively navigate social situations and communicate in a culturally appropriate manner.

How to Forget in Japanese Language

If you want to express the act of forgetting in Japanese, there are several words and phrases you can use. However, it is important to keep in mind the cultural context and social norms surrounding the act of forgetting in Japanese society. Some appropriate phrases to use include:

  • 忘れてしまった (Wasurete shimatta) – I forgot
  • 思い出せない (Omoidasenai) – I can’t remember
  • 無視する (Mushi suru) – To ignore

By understanding the appropriate ways to express forgetting in Japanese, you can effectively communicate and interact with Japanese speakers in a culturally sensitive manner.

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Tips for Improving Language Proficiency in Japanese

Learning a new language can be challenging, but with dedication and consistent practice, you can improve your language proficiency in Japanese. Here are some suggestions to help you express ‘to forget’ in Japanese with confidence:

1. Practice Writing and Speaking

Writing and speaking are essential components of language learning. Take time each day to practice writing and speaking Japanese sentences that include the word for ‘to forget.’ By repeatedly using the word in various contexts, you can improve your understanding of its usage and grammar rules.

2. Memorize Vocabulary

Enhance your vocabulary by memorizing useful words and phrases that include the Japanese word for ‘forget.’ Use flashcards or online resources to practice and reinforce your memory.

3. Engage with Native Speakers

One of the most effective ways to improve your language proficiency is to engage with native speakers. Practice your language skills with Japanese-speaking friends or join an online language exchange program to interact with people fluent in Japanese.

4. Immerse Yourself in Japanese Language and Culture

Immerse yourself in the Japanese language and culture by listening to Japanese music, watching Japanese movies, or reading Japanese literature. The more exposure you have, the more comfortable you will become with the language and its nuances.

5. Take Formal Language Courses

Consider taking formal Japanese language courses to improve your language proficiency. Online courses or in-person classes can provide structured learning and offer opportunities to practice with instructors and fellow students.

By implementing these tips, you can improve your language proficiency in Japanese and confidently express ‘to forget’ in various contexts.

Recap and Final Thoughts

Congratulations! You have now learned various ways to say ‘to forget’ in Japanese. By expanding your vocabulary and understanding its cultural significance, you can effectively communicate in different contexts. Remember, the Japanese language has nuances that require attention to detail, so it is essential to know the specific word and verb used for ‘forgetting.’

Make sure to practice constructing sentences using ‘forget’ in Japanese, paying attention to the proper sentence structure and grammar. As you continue to improve your language proficiency, consider exploring synonyms for ‘forget’ to enrich your linguistic repertoire further.

Learning a new language can be challenging, but by staying dedicated and using the tips provided in this article, you can improve your Japanese language skills. Keep in mind that language learning is a process, and it takes time and consistent effort to achieve fluency and accuracy in expressing yourself.

Thank you for reading this article on ‘How to Say “To Forget” in Japanese.’ We hope you continue to explore the richness of the Japanese language and culture.


Q: What are some common translations of ‘forget’ in Japanese?

A: Some common translations of ‘forget’ in Japanese include 忘れる (wasureru), 忘れてしまう (wasurete shimau), and 忘却する (boukyaku suru).

Q: How do I use ‘forget’ in Japanese sentences?

A: To use ‘forget’ in Japanese sentences, you can simply conjugate the verb 忘れる (wasureru) to match the sentence structure. For example, “I forgot” would be 私は忘れました (watashi wa wasuremashita).

Q: Are there any synonyms for ‘forget’ in Japanese?

A: Yes, there are several synonyms for ‘forget’ in Japanese. Some examples include 忘却 (boukyaku), 忘却する (boukyaku suru), and 抜ける (nukeru).

Q: What is the cultural significance of ‘forgetting’ in Japanese society?

A: Forgetting holds unique significance in Japanese culture. It is often associated with concepts such as letting go of the past, forgiveness, and moving forward.

Q: How can I improve my language proficiency in Japanese?

A: To improve your language proficiency in Japanese, it is recommended to practice regularly, engage in conversations with native speakers, immerse yourself in the language and culture, and utilize language learning resources.

Q: What will I learn in this article about saying ‘to forget’ in Japanese?

A: In this article, you will learn different ways to say ‘to forget’ in Japanese, how to use it in sentences, common translations and synonyms, cultural significance, and tips for improving your language proficiency.

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