How Do You Say “Forget” In Spanish?

Learning a new language can be a thrilling and challenging experience that opens up a world of opportunities. Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, and mastering it can enhance your travel experiences, career prospects, and personal development. In this article, we will explore one of the most common words in Spanish that you may need to know in your language journey: forget.

The Spanish translation of “forget” is “olvidar”. This verb is widely used in everyday conversations and can help you express a variety of thoughts and feelings. Knowing how to use “olvidar” correctly can make a big difference in your Spanish proficiency, so let’s dive in!

How Do You Pronounce The Spanish Word For “Forget”?

Learning to properly pronounce foreign words is an important part of language learning. The Spanish word for “forget” is “olvidar,” pronounced ohl-vee-DAHR.

To break it down phonetically, the “o” is pronounced like the “o” in “so,” the “l” is pronounced like the “l” in “love,” the “v” is pronounced like the “b” in “baby,” the “i” is pronounced like the “ee” in “sheep,” the “d” is pronounced like the “d” in “dog,” the “a” is pronounced like the “a” in “father,” and the “r” is pronounced with a slight roll of the tongue.

If you’re having trouble with the pronunciation, here are some tips to help you out:

1. Listen To Native Speakers

One of the best ways to improve your pronunciation is to listen to native speakers. You can do this by watching Spanish movies or TV shows, listening to Spanish music, or even just finding Spanish-language podcasts to listen to. Pay attention to how they pronounce words and try to mimic their accent.

2. Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice makes perfect, and this is especially true when it comes to language learning. Take the time to practice saying the word “olvidar” out loud, focusing on getting the pronunciation just right. You can even record yourself and listen back to see where you need to improve.

3. Break It Down

If you’re struggling with a particular sound or letter, try breaking the word down into smaller parts. For example, “ohl-vee” and “DAHR.” Practice saying each part individually before putting them together.

4. Use Online Resources

There are plenty of online resources available to help you improve your Spanish pronunciation. Websites like Forvo and SpanishDict have audio recordings of native speakers pronouncing words, so you can listen and practice along.

With these tips, you’ll be able to confidently pronounce the Spanish word for “forget” in no time.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The Spanish Word For “Forget”

Proper grammar is essential when using the Spanish word for “forget” to convey your message accurately. Incorrect usage of the word can lead to confusion and misunderstandings. Therefore, it is vital to understand the proper grammatical use of the word.

Placement Of The Spanish Word For Forget In Sentences

The Spanish word for “forget” is “olvidar.” It is typically used as a transitive verb and placed after the subject in a sentence. For instance:

  • Yo olvidé mi libro en casa. (I forgot my book at home.)
  • Él olvidó su cumpleaños. (He forgot his birthday.)

Note that the word “olvidar” can also be used reflexively, such as “me olvidé” (I forgot myself), or “te olvidaste” (you forgot yourself).

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

The Spanish language has numerous verb tenses, and each tense has its conjugation rules. When using the word “olvidar,” it is essential to conjugate it correctly based on the tense used in the sentence.

Here are some examples of the conjugation of “olvidar” in different tenses:

Tense Conjugation
Present yo olvido, tú olvidas, él/ella/usted olvida, nosotros/nosotras olvidamos, vosotros/vosotras olvidáis, ellos/ellas/ustedes olvidan
Preterite yo olvidé, tú olvidaste, él/ella/usted olvidó, nosotros/nosotras olvidamos, vosotros/vosotras olvidasteis, ellos/ellas/ustedes olvidaron
Imperfect yo olvidaba, tú olvidabas, él/ella/usted olvidaba, nosotros/nosotras olvidábamos, vosotros/vosotras olvidabais, ellos/ellas/ustedes olvidaban
Future yo olvidaré, tú olvidarás, él/ella/usted olvidará, nosotros/nosotras olvidaremos, vosotros/vosotras olvidaréis, ellos/ellas/ustedes olvidarán

Agreement With Gender And Number

Like most Spanish words, “olvidar” is gender-neutral, meaning it does not change based on the gender of the subject. However, it does change based on the number of the subject. For instance:

  • Yo olvidé mi número de teléfono. (I forgot my phone number.)
  • Nosotros olvidamos nuestras llaves. (We forgot our keys.)

Common Exceptions

While there are no significant exceptions to the grammatical use of “olvidar,” it is essential to note that in some Spanish-speaking countries, people use different words to mean “forget.” For instance, in Mexico, people often use the word “olvidarse” instead of “olvidar.” Therefore, it is essential to understand the dialect of Spanish you are speaking to avoid confusion and misunderstandings.

Examples Of Phrases Using The Spanish Word For “Forget”

Forgetting is a common human experience that we all go through, and it’s no different in the Spanish language. Here are some phrases that use the Spanish word for “forget” and how they are used in sentences:


  • Olvidé mi cartera en casa. (I forgot my wallet at home.)
  • No puedo olvidar lo que pasó. (I can’t forget what happened.)
  • ¿Me olvidé de apagar la luz? (Did I forget to turn off the light?)
  • Olvida lo que dije antes. (Forget what I said earlier.)

As you can see, the Spanish word for “forget” is “olvidar,” and it can be used in a variety of contexts. Whether you’re referring to forgetting something at home or trying to forget a difficult experience, this word is versatile and commonly used in everyday conversation.

Example Dialogue:

Spanish English Translation
¿Te acuerdas de la fiesta de anoche? Do you remember the party last night?
Sí, pero olvidé mi teléfono allí. Yes, but I forgot my phone there.
No te preocupes, podemos volver y buscarlo. Don’t worry, we can go back and get it.

In this example dialogue, “olvidé” is used to indicate that the speaker forgot their phone at the party. The response shows understanding and a willingness to help, which is a common response when someone forgets something.

More Contextual Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Forget”

When it comes to language learning, understanding the contextual uses of a word is just as important as knowing its meaning. This is especially true for the Spanish word for “forget,” as it has a range of uses depending on the situation and level of formality. In this article, we’ll explore some of the different contexts in which the word “forget” can be used in Spanish.

Formal Usage

In formal settings, such as in business or academic environments, it’s important to use the correct level of formality in your language. When it comes to the Spanish word for “forget,” the most common formal usage is olvidar. This is the equivalent of saying “to forget” in English, and is appropriate in situations where you need to be polite and professional.

Informal Usage

While olvidar is the most commonly used word for “forget” in Spanish, there are also more informal options that are used in everyday conversation. One example is olvidarse, which is the reflexive form of the verb. This is often used in informal situations, such as when talking to friends or family members.

Other Contexts

Aside from formal and informal usage, there are also other contexts in which the Spanish word for “forget” can be used. For example, there are many idiomatic expressions that use the word olvidar, such as olvidarse de algo (to forget about something) or olvidar por completo (to forget completely). Additionally, there are some regional slang terms that are used in certain parts of the Spanish-speaking world.

In terms of cultural and historical uses, there are also some interesting examples of how the word “forget” has been used in Spanish literature and music. For example, the famous Spanish poet Federico García Lorca wrote a poem called “El Olvido” (The Forgetfulness), which explores the themes of memory and forgetting.

Popular Cultural Usage

One example of popular cultural usage of the Spanish word for “forget” is in the song “La Bamba,” which is a traditional Mexican folk song that has become popular all over the world. In the song, there is a line that goes “Para bailar La Bamba, se necesita una poca de gracia, una poca de gracia y otra cosita, y arriba y arriba y arriba,” which translates to “To dance the Bamba, you need a bit of grace, a bit of grace and something else, and up and up and up.” The “something else” referred to in the song is actually the word olvidar, which is used to mean “to forget” in this context.

Regional Variations Of The Spanish Word For “Forget”

One interesting aspect of the Spanish language is the existence of regional variations. The same word can have different meanings or pronunciations depending on the country or region where it is used. This is also the case for the Spanish word for “forget.”

Usage In Different Spanish-speaking Countries

In Spain, the most common word for “forget” is “olvidar.” However, in some regions, such as Andalusia and the Canary Islands, people often use the word “olvidarse” instead. This is a reflexive form of the verb “olvidar” and means “to forget oneself.” In Latin America, “olvidar” is also widely used, but there are some regional variations.

In Mexico, for example, people sometimes use the word “despistarse” to mean “to forget.” This word comes from the verb “despistar,” which means “to confuse” or “to mislead.” In Argentina, the word “olvidar” is also common, but there is a regional variation in the use of the expression “se me fue.” This literally means “it went away from me” and is used to express forgetting something.

Regional Pronunciations

Another interesting aspect of the regional variations of the Spanish word for “forget” is the different pronunciations. In Spain, for example, the “o” in “olvidar” is often pronounced with a strong “o” sound, similar to the English word “oh.” In Latin America, the pronunciation is often softer, with the “o” sounding more like the English word “awe.”

There are also differences in pronunciation between countries. In Mexico, for example, the “r” in “despistarse” is often pronounced with a slight roll, while in Argentina, the “v” in “se me fue” is often pronounced with a soft “b” sound.


In summary, the Spanish word for “forget” is not only used differently in different Spanish-speaking countries, but it is also pronounced differently. It is important to be aware of these regional variations when speaking Spanish in different contexts, as it can help you to better understand and communicate with native speakers.

Other Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Forget” In Speaking & Writing

While the word “olvidar” in Spanish primarily means “to forget,” it can take on different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Understanding these different uses is essential for effective communication in Spanish.

Uses Of “Olvidar” In Spanish

Here are some of the different ways in which the Spanish word “olvidar” can be used:

  • Forget
  • Leave behind
  • Fail to remember
  • Abandon
  • Let go of
  • Disregard

Each of these uses of “olvidar” has a slightly different nuance, and it is important to be able to distinguish between them in order to use the word correctly in context.

Distinguishing Between Uses Of “Olvidar”

The key to distinguishing between the different uses of “olvidar” is to pay attention to the context in which the word is used. Here are some tips:

  1. Consider the sentence structure. The way that “olvidar” is used in a sentence can provide clues about its meaning. For example, if the word is followed by a direct object (e.g. “olvidé mi llave”), it is likely being used to mean “to forget.” However, if it is used with the preposition “de” (e.g. “olvidé de llamar”), it might mean “to fail to remember.”
  2. Look for other words in the sentence that might provide context. For example, if “olvidar” is used in a sentence about leaving something behind (e.g. “olvidé mi libro en la casa”), it is likely being used to mean “to leave behind.”
  3. Consider the tone of the sentence. The tone of a sentence can also provide clues about the meaning of “olvidar.” For example, if someone says “olvidé todo lo que me dijiste,” the tone might suggest that they are disregarding or ignoring what was said.

By paying attention to these cues, you can begin to distinguish between the different uses of “olvidar” in Spanish and use the word more effectively in conversation and writing.

Common Words And Phrases Similar To The Spanish Word For “Forget”

As with any language, Spanish has a variety of words and phrases that can be used to express the concept of forgetting. Here are some of the most common:


The most common Spanish word for forget is “olvidar.” It is used much like the English word “forget,” and can be used in a variety of contexts. For example:

  • Olvidé mi cartera en casa. (I forgot my wallet at home.)
  • No puedes olvidar lo que pasó. (You can’t forget what happened.)


“Despistarse” is a less common word for forget, but it can be used in certain situations. It is often used to refer to forgetting something because you were distracted or not paying attention. For example:

  • Me despisté y se me olvidó llamar. (I got distracted and forgot to call.)


While “perder” is most commonly translated as “to lose,” it can also be used to express forgetting something. It is often used to refer to forgetting something that you once knew or had. For example:

  • He perdido mi habilidad para hablar español. (I’ve forgotten my ability to speak Spanish.)


While forgetting is a common experience, there are also many words and phrases in Spanish that can be used to express the opposite. Here are a few:

  • Recordar: to remember
  • Acordarse: to recall
  • Mantener en la memoria: to keep in memory

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The Spanish Word For “Forget”

When learning a new language, it’s common to make mistakes. Spanish, in particular, can be tricky for non-native speakers. One word that many people struggle with is “forget.” In this section, we’ll go over some common mistakes made when using the Spanish word for “forget” and provide tips to avoid them.

Common Mistakes

Here are some of the most common mistakes made when using the Spanish word for “forget:”

  • Using the wrong verb tense
  • Confusing “olvidar” with “olvido”
  • Using the wrong preposition
  • Forgetting the reflexive pronoun

Using the Wrong Verb Tense

One mistake that many non-native speakers make is using the wrong verb tense when using the Spanish word for “forget.” For example, they might say “yo olvido” when they should say “yo olvidé.” The correct verb tense depends on the context of the sentence. If you’re talking about something you forgot to do in the past, you would use the preterite tense. If you’re talking about forgetting something in general, you would use the present tense.

Confusing “Olvidar” with “Olvido”

Another common mistake is confusing “olvidar” with “olvido.” “Olvidar” is the verb form of “forget,” while “olvido” is the noun form. For example, you might say “yo olvidé mi libro” (I forgot my book) or “tengo un olvido terrible” (I have a terrible forgetfulness).

Using the Wrong Preposition

Using the wrong preposition is another mistake that many non-native speakers make. For example, they might say “olvidar de” instead of “olvidar a.” The correct preposition depends on the context of the sentence. If you’re talking about forgetting a person, you would use “olvidar a.” If you’re talking about forgetting something else, you would use “olvidar de.”

Forgetting the Reflexive Pronoun

Finally, many non-native speakers forget to use the reflexive pronoun when using the Spanish word for “forget.” For example, they might say “yo olvido mi nombre” instead of “yo me olvido de mi nombre.” The reflexive pronoun “me” is necessary in this case to indicate that you are forgetting something about yourself.

Tips To Avoid These Mistakes

To avoid these common mistakes, here are some tips:

  • Study the different verb tenses for “olvidar” so you know which one to use in different contexts.
  • Remember that “olvidar” is the verb form of “forget” and “olvido” is the noun form.
  • Pay attention to the preposition you use when using the Spanish word for “forget.”
  • Always use the reflexive pronoun “me” when talking about forgetting something about yourself.


In this blog post, we have discussed various ways to say “forget” in Spanish. We started by exploring the most common and simple way to say “forget” which is “olvidar”. We then delved deeper and looked at different synonyms such as “descuidar”, “dejar”, and “ignorar”. Additionally, we discussed some idiomatic expressions that can be used to convey the meaning of “forget”.

It is important to note that language learning is a continuous process and requires practice. So, we encourage you to use the Spanish word for “forget” in your real-life conversations. This will help you to not only remember the word but also improve your overall Spanish language skills.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority and He’s a seasoned innovator, harnessing the power of technology to connect cultures through language. His worse translation though is when he refers to “pancakes” as “flat waffles”.