When should I use "I forgot" and "I have forgotten"?

CONTEXT: My friend wants me to show him some photos. I leave them at home. Later, I meet my friend and he asks: "Do you have the photos on you?"

My reply would be:

"I forgot." --- I use this in all real life situations.

But I've just invented this:

a) "I forgot." ------ If I already knew I had forgotten them. (Something like "Hope he won't meet me, I don't have the photos on me. Oops, here he comes.")

b) "I've forgotten." ----- meaning: I've just found out.

Is the above assumption correct? I don't think so. Is there any context in which you can use I've forgotten?

Thank you in advance.

PS Additional questions:

1) In the above context, can my friend say "Do you happen to have the photos on you?" ? Would it be more polite?

2) Can I say "Is there any context under which...?" Is there any difference in the meaning betwen in/under this context?
Full Member369
Hi again,

When should I use "I forgot" and "I have forgotten"?

CONTEXT: My friend wants me to show him some photos. I leave them at home. Later, I meet my friend and he asks: "Do you have the photos on you?"

My reply would be:

"I forgot." --- I use this in all real life situations.

But I've just invented this:

a) "I forgot." ------ If I already knew I had forgotten them. (Something like "Hope he won't meet me, I don't have the photos on me. Oops, here he comes.")

b) "I've forgotten." ----- meaning: I've just found out.

Is the above assumption correct? I don't think so. Is there any context in which you can use I've forgotten?

I agree with you interpretations above, either is possible.

I have forgotten places the importance and relevance of the past act of forgetting in the present. A common situation in which I'd say it is if I only realized 'in the present' that I had forgotten. eg

A: Hi. Can I see the photos, please.

Me: Sure. (puts hand in pocket). Oh, I've forgotten them. I'm so stupid, sorry.

Additional questions:

1) In the above context, can my friend say "Do you happen to have the photos on you?" ? Would it be more polite? It suggests that if I have them on me, it would be by accident. It makes the whole thing more casual, not pre-arranged. It definitely does add politeness.

2) Can I say "Is there any context under which...?" Is there any difference in the meaning betwen in/under this context? 'Under' sounds odd. Say 'in'.

Best wishes, Clive
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