I shared a document and realised that's not the correct version. A paragraph is missing from the document. Should I say

  1. I have missed out a paragraph from the original content.
  2. I have left out a paragraph from the original content.

Do they convey the same meaning in this context? Does missed out feel more unintentional than left out?


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    For what it's worth, "missed out" is not used in North American English
    – gotube
    Jul 26, 2021 at 5:09
  • Interesting. Thanks. I didn't know that. Jul 26, 2021 at 12:37
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    @gotube Thanks. For learning curiosity, what's the equivalent used in North American English? Jul 27, 2021 at 5:11
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    "Left out" is probably the most common. I can't think of an expression that feels more accidental. "Omitted" is good too, but somewhat formal, and implies you intentionally left it out, while "left out" can be accidental. I'm curious what @OldBrixtonian has to say about how intentional "omitted" feels in UK English.
    – gotube
    Jul 27, 2021 at 5:23
  • @gotube: I quite agree: "omit" is somewhat formal. It might sound a little unusual in an informal context. "Oops! I've omitted a paragraph" sounds unnatural to me. Leave out and omit seem to me equally intentional/accidental. I'll add a couple of references to my rather inadequate answer. Jul 27, 2021 at 12:30

1 Answer 1


Yes, you are right. Leave out might mean you did it intentionally. Miss out (which, as gotube points out and Lexico confirms, is not used in the US) sounds the most accidental. This may be because the word miss on its own is so often associated with failure.

leave out: Fail to include someone or something.
miss out: [British] Fail to include someone or something; omit.
omit: Leave out or exclude (someone or something), either intentionally or forgetfully.

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