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Hello
I'd like to ask about "leave" and "forget."
Would you take a look at the following sentence?

1) I left my bag in the bus.

Can I exchange "left" to "forgot" like sentence 2)?
2) I forgot my bag in the bus.

Thank you.
1 2
Comments  
In this example both sentences are okay, although I would say "on the bus," not "in the bus." Of course, sometimes you might "leave" something deliberately, in which case you could not substitute "forget." ("I left the newspaper on the bus because I was finished with it.")
I think no.2 is more ambiguous. It needs more context than no.1.

It could mean that while riding the bus, you realized you forgot to bring your bag, or it could mean that while riding the bus, you forgot about the bag that you, in fact, had brought (you forgot about it because you had unconsciously stuffed it under the seat, out of view), or that after getting off the bus, you realized you hadn't take it with you, and left it there.
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Hi,

Dav, it's rather your explanation of No2 that I find confusing. I think the sentence is quite straightforward. It's not about taking the bag in the bus, but taking it with you wherever you go, in which case, if you realize once you are off the bus that you no longer have the bag, you''ll say: "I forgot the bag in the bus".
I rather go along with Khoff's explanation.
Adomi,

No.1 does not need an explanation of the sort you've given as the context for no.2.

I've offered three interpretations for no.2 that are possible without context.

Here's another context where forgot has a meaning that is different from left, using your sentence:

Detective: What were you carrying that day?
Subject: A water bottle and a guitar.
Detective: Think again. Weren't you carrying anything else?
Subject: No. I can't remember, it was last week.
Detective: On the bus, a bag was found with your blood on it.
Subject: Oh, well... yes, I forgot the bag on the bus. (This is not the same as 'I left the bag on the bus.')
Another context:

I'm on the bus, going home from a day at the office. I'd promised myself to pick up some groceries at the corner store. I had written a long list of things needed for tonight's dinner with the boss. Where did I put that note? I looked in the pockets of my coat, in the pockets of my shirt and pants, in the pages of the book I was carrying, I looked all through my wallet, pulled out every credit card I was carrying. Nothing. I started to panic; this was to be my first dinner with the boss! Then it suddently hit me. My bag! 'Oh, I forgot my bag on the bus.' I had unconsciously slipped it under the seat. I bent over , picked it up, opened it. There, right on top, was the list.

(Sorry, Adomi, I'm not a professional story teller, but perhaps you get the idea.) Forgot and left cannot be simply exchanged in your sentence and have the same clarity of meaning. There is , however, a context (such as the one you've only now added) in which there is no significant difference between the terms. I'll be happy to wait for Khoff's follow-through on this. Maybe we'll have an interesting debate on our hands. but don't count on it.
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Okay, Davkett, you asked for it!

I think what Davkett is saying (and I agree with him) is that "I left my bag on the bus" is only one of several possible meanings of "I forgot my bag on the bus." In the situation you describe, they can be used interchangeably. But in other contexts, "I forgot my bag on the bus" can have a variety of meanings, depending on whether you attribute "on the bus" to the bag, the forgetting, or both. Examples:

While I was on the bus, I completely forgot (about) my bag. I was looking for something, but it didn't occur to me to look in the bag, because I had forgotten that it was there. I forgot (about) my bag (while) on the bus. (The bag and the forgetting were both on the bus at the same time.)

For some unexplained reason, I have been obsessed thinking about my bag. (?) Only while taking a relaxing bus ride was I able to think of other things. I forgot my bag (while) on the bus, but now I am thinking about it again! (The bag was never on the bus, only the forgetting was on the bus.)

I am making a list of all the bags I have ever had. Last week I had a bag of candy that I was eating on the bus, but when making the list it slipped my mind. I forgot my bag (that I had) on the bus! (The bag was on the bus, but the forgetting took place later.)

(Substitute "troubles" for "bag" and these last two make more sense. "I forgot my troubles on the bus" can mean either "While on the bus, I forgot all my previous troubles," or "Later on, I forgot about all the troubles tthat I had when I was riding the bus.")

For those who like statistics, google shows 19 hits of "forgot my bag on the bus," 200 for "left my bag on the bus," and 1,050 for "bag on the bus," including a story in which the bag contains a dead cat on its way to burial.

This was fun -- but I think even Davkett would agree that if you just hear someone say "I forgot my bag on the bus," you would probably assume, without other context, that he meant "I left my bag on the bus."

By the way - Davkett, I just looked again at your first post in this thread, and I disagree with one of your possible interpretations of "I forgot my bag on the bus." You said, It could mean that while riding the bus, you realized you forgot to bring your bag. In that case, wouldn't you say "I remembered my bag on the bus," or maybe "I realized on on the bus that I had forgotten my bag"?

Eagerly awaiting your reply.

Darn it! Now I've got [8] "Bag on the Bus" [8] running through my head to the tune of Paul McCartney's song "Band on the Run."
Khoff
By the way - Davkett, I just looked again at your first post in this thread, and I disagree with one of your possible interpretations of "I forgot my bag on the bus." You said, It could mean that while riding the bus, you realized you forgot to bring your bag. In that case, wouldn't you say "I remembered my bag on the bus," or maybe "I realized on on the bus that I had forgotten my bag"?

Eagerly awaiting your reply.

Don't be too eager, I might disappoint. But here goes, anyway.

I forgot my bag on the bus can, I think, also be read, On the bus, I forgot my bag. (Also, 'On the bus, I forgot [about] my bag'.)

I'm on the bus, headed to the airline terminal. I'm going over (too late) the list of things I hope I've remembered to bring with me-- "my credit cards, yes, my airline tickets, yes, the key to my laptop, yes, my camera, yes, that's it, I'm good to go". I get to the terminal, board the airplane, "Yikes! I forgot to bring my bag with the insulin!"

I didn't think of the bag while on the bus. I forgot it on the bus. (Remembering it then would have been too late, anyway.)

Khoff, I think I'm getting a little dizzy trying to make this work, and no longer know whether I've met your objection.

Bottom line: I just would not ever choose to say 'I forgot my bag on the bus' if what I meant was 'I left my bag on the bus'.
Interesting. I don't think "I forgot my bag on the bus" can = "I left my bag on the bus" in British English.

Then again, maybe they say it in East Cheam.

MrP

PS I wish you hadn't mentioned "Bag on the Bus", khoff. Now I've got it too.

Makes a lot more sense than the original, though.
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