Imagine you want to say something particular to somebody but when you meet him/her you forget to mention the thing right away and you talk about different things for a while until a bit later when you remember it and you say:

Oh I was almost to forget to mention that you got some mail.

I know it is likely to be grammatically wrong, I just wrote down what came to mind.

How do you say it in casual and formal ways?

This is not a case where you forgot to mention it in a previous conversation and this is not a case where you should have mentioned it before. You got the mail after the last time you had seen him/her. My sentence is a kind of conversational thing to say to myself. I don't have to say it aloud.

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    Oh! I almost forgot to mention that you got some mail. Is plenty formal. You could casually omit “that” and/or add obscenities if you want to be less formal. – Tyler James Young Jun 2 '15 at 14:48
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    Only in a very specific case where you are speaking about a time in the past and saying that at that time you were going to (between then and now) forget to mention something. – Tyler James Young Jun 2 '15 at 15:07
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    No, I mean that the forgetting was [going] to happen. You are speaking from the future of that moment with knowledge of what will and will not occur between that point in the past and now. You know now that you forgot to mention the mail, so you say that at that time in the past you were [going] to forget (you were on your way to forgetting)... I just realized that eliding “going” is what makes it sound fancy. – Tyler James Young Jun 2 '15 at 15:33
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    @Murat Just to be clear, I was almost to forget is a very specific usage that is unlikely to come up in conversation or writing (though perhaps it might in a historical drama, just for its fancy sound.) In your example sentence, the simple past tense is vastly preferable, I almost forgot. – Jason Patterson Jun 2 '15 at 15:45
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    @murat, you could say "had" instead of "was". – DJMcMayhem Jun 2 '15 at 17:29

As others have indicated, you don't want to say:

Oh I was almost to forget to mention...

(For one thing, the was is inappropriate there.) Instead, you'd want to use one of these:

Oh, I almost forgot to mention...
Oh, I forgot to mention...

It's interesting how the word almost is optional in this context.

Let's say I meant to tell you that you got some mail. As you're walking out the door, I say:

Wait! I almost forgot to mention: You got a package today.

I almost forgot to mention it – but then I remembered in the nick of time!

Alternatively, I can say:

Wait! I forgot to mention: You got a package today.

This means: I had forgot to mention it (until just now). But now I'll mention it.

At least in AmE, I hear and use both of these. People don't seem to get hung up on whether the almost should be included because, with or without it, the sentence can sound correct.

  • In conversation, I've never heard it with forget, only forgot to mention. – Karen Jun 2 '15 at 20:16
  • @Karen - That's a typo! Thanks for bringing that to my attention... – J.R. Jun 2 '15 at 20:59
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    And in normal conversation people usually dispense with the to mention: Oh, I almost forgot: There's a message for you on the [answering] machine. – Jim Jun 3 '15 at 4:58

A fairly standard way to restate this would be:

"Oh, I forgot to mention earlier that you got some mail"

The "earlier" is optional. A slightly more formal way of stating this would be:

"Earlier, I forgot to mention that you received some mail"

Edit: "I was almost to forget" wouldn't really fit the context you have laid out as it has you in the present talking about the past in which you were thinking about the future/now present. If the forgetting is being done at the time you are thinking that then you could say/think "I almost forget what I was supposed to mention"

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