10 Professional Ways to Say “I Forgot” in an Email

Are you trying to find the most professional way to let someone know you forgot something in an email?

Perhaps you’re worried that simply saying “I forgot” isn’t professional enough.

Well, you’re in luck!

This article has gathered some alternatives to show you how to say “I forgot” professionally in an email.

Is It Professional to Say “I Forgot”?

It is not professional to say “I forgot.” It’s informal and shows you take no responsibility for forgetting to do something.

Imagine you forgot to do a task for your boss. Now, imagine you reply to their email asking why you didn’t do it with “I forgot.” It’s not a great way to talk to them.

So, you should try to avoid using it in an email. It’s not effective and will make it seem like you don’t care much about your job role.

With that said, it’s still correct. But you should use it only in conversational situations.

Here’s an example showing you how you might be able to use it:

I forgot to do that for you. I’m really sorry, as I know you were expecting it from me!


  • It’s a conversational way to show something slipped your mind.
  • It can be light-hearted and fun.


  • It’s quite informal.
  • It’s unprofessional, meaning it can’t work in an email.

So, “I forgot” is not a professional phrase. Therefore, you should come up with some alternatives to make your emails sound better.

Keep reading to learn a professional way to say you forgot to do something at work. We’ve touched on some of the best synonyms to help you keep your writing engaging.

What to Say Instead of “I Forgot”

  • It slipped my mind
  • I failed to recollect
  • It seems I misremembered
  • I didn’t remember
  • I didn’t retain that information
  • It eluded me
  • I failed to recall
  • It escaped my memory
  • I didn’t have it in my mind
  • I didn’t

1. It Slipped My Mind

First, we want to go over “it slipped my mind.” This is a polite and genuine way to admit that you forgot something or didn’t realize you had to do it.

It’s a professional way to say “I forgot” that shows you take responsibility for the mistake.

Generally, this is great when emailing an important client. It lets them know you overlooked something and have done your best to fix the situation.

You can also review this email sample to learn more about it:

Dear Mr. Carter,

I’m so sorry. It slipped my mind to CC you on this email. I have since corrected my mistake and hope you can forgive me.

Best regards,
Jon Parkinson

2. I Failed to Recollect

If you’re wondering how to say “I forgot” without saying “I forgot,” you can’t go wrong with “I failed to recollect.”

Sure, it’s a bit wordier, but this is going to help your apology to sound more genuine and formal.

We recommend using it because it’s polite and honest. It works well when apologizing to your boss, especially if you need them to reiterate something for you.

Here’s a great example to show you more about how to use it:

Dear Ms. Jones,

I failed to recollect what you said to me during the meeting. Could you please repeat it so I have it on written record?

Thank you so much,
Mathew Wells

3. It Seems I Misremembered

Let’s say you forgot to attach a file in an email. Don’t worry; it can happen to anyone!

Now, you want to send an email apologizing for the lack of an attachment. That’s where “it seems I misremembered” comes in.

This works wonders when emailing clients. It shows you’ve made up for your mistake and attached the file you were supposed to send the first time around.

It’s formal and sincere. That’s why it works well when letting clients know that you accept and regret your simple mistake.

Feel free to refer to this example if you still need help with it:

Dear Miss Adams,

It seems I misremembered and didn’t mention what the plan was. Please see the attached file to learn more about it.

Joan Carlton

4. I Didn’t Remember

You can write “I didn’t remember” as another way to say “I forgot.” It’s quite an interesting choice that’ll help to spice up your emails when you send them.

Feel free to use it when emailing a coworker about a team project. It lets them know that you forgot to do something for them or forgot to include them in a discussion.

It’s a polite way to own your mistake. It also acts as a decent apology to show that you didn’t mean to leave them out of something and would like to make it up to them.

We also recommend reviewing this example to learn more about it:

Dear Andrew,

I didn’t remember to mention the project changes. We spoke about it as a team, so I’m sorry you weren’t included.

My best,
Jack Weiss

5. I Didn’t Retain That Information

Another synonym for “I forgot” is “I didn’t retain that information.” It shows you’ve made an honest mistake when it comes to forgetting something.

Generally, this is a great way to show that you take responsibility for your forgetfulness.

It’s polite and formal. Therefore, it’s a fantastic phrase to include in an email when contacting your boss. It shows you’d like them to give you a pass or help you understand what you’ve missed.

Here’s a helpful example to also show you how to use it:

Dear Miss Kingston,

I didn’t retain that information when you mentioned it. Could you please run it by me again to remind me?

Thank you so much,
George Smart

6. It Eluded Me

You might find “it eluded me” to be quite useful in formal emails as well.

This time, you can try using it when contacting a coworker. It shows that something escaped your memory, and you don’t know how you managed to forget it.

We recommend using it because it’s polite and sincere. It shows that you own your mistake and didn’t mean to forget something important.

You can also review this email example:

Dear Craig,

It eluded me to tell you that we have changed which clients are assigned to which employee. You’ll have to ask Jack about it.

Ryan Bradshaw

7. I Failed to Recall

It’s worth using “I failed to recall” when owning up to a mistake. This works really well when contacting a teacher to let them know that you might have missed something.

For instance, you could have made an error in an assignment or overlooked a crucial detail. A phrase like this is a great way to hold yourself accountable and show them that you regret it.

Also, this sample email should help to clear a few things up:

Dear Miss Kirkland,

I failed to recall the assignment you set for me. Please forgive any inconvenience, and I will start working on it immediately.

Evan Hansen

8. It Escaped My Memory

You can use something a bit more light-hearted when saying “I forgot” with “it escaped my memory.”

This conversational synonym shows that you had a momentary lapse and forgot to do something.

Try using this when emailing an employee. While you might be the boss, you’re still a human being. So, even you can make mistakes!

We recommend referring to this example to help you understand a bit more about it:

Dear Matilda,

I’m sorry, but it escaped my memory. I’ll be sure to run you through the changes when I next see you at the meeting.

Best wishes,
Jodie Keith

9. I Didn’t Have It in My Mind

Try “I didn’t have it in my mind” instead of “I forgot.” This is a great formal phrase that shows you accidentally forgot about something.

It implies that something vital wasn’t at the front of your mind when you took on a task. And now you’re owning your mistake and showing that you forgot to do it.

Also, feel free to review this sample email to learn more about it:

Dear Miss Murray,

I didn’t have it in my mind when they announced these changes. That’s why I overlooked a few crucial details.

My apologies,
Kyla Jane

10. I Didn’t

Finally, we recommend using “I didn’t” instead of “I forgot.” However, this one requires a bit more explaining.

You can certainly use this as a direct synonym to keep things more conversational and regretful. For instance:

  • I forgot to tell you.
  • I didn’t tell you.

As you can say, replacing “I forgot to” with “I didn’t” helps you to be more direct and honest. It shows that something slipped your mind, and you simply didn’t have a chance to tell someone.

Generally, we would use this when contacting coworkers. It keeps things more friendly and civil, which is a great way to show someone you enjoy talking to them.

You can also refer to this example to learn more about it:

Dear Harry,

I didn’t mention that we were going to meet on Friday instead of Thursday. I hope that didn’t cause any problems!

Cherie Bryer