First, I feel sorry because I thought I had given our phone number, but may be I've forgotten, anyway here it is.

Is it correct or shall I say "gave" and "forgot". I chose past perfect had given because first I was sure I gave my number and I realised my mistake after two days while I was writing to him.

I use present perfect have forgotten because it has effect on the present I will give you my phone number now

  • We can also say "... but maybe I'm misremembering".
    – TimR
    Jul 28, 2015 at 22:46

1 Answer 1


Both the simple past and the past perfect work just fine for the first verb, but "forgot" should be in the simple past in the construction you give.

"Maybe I've forgotten" indicates that you aren't sure whether or not you have forgotten - but what you're actually not sure of is why the listener does not have your phone number, and you are presenting a hypothetical situation that would lead to that happening. Accordingly "maybe I forgot" is best here.

If you really want to use the perfect, you can absolutely do so - but it would be used as "I may/might have forgotten". Here "forget" is clearly in the hypothetical.

As for the rest of your sentence:

First, "sorry" usually takes "be" as its verb: It's either "I feel bad" or "I am sorry". "I feel sorry" is very strong sounding - and typically is only used in the construction "I feel sorry for you" - as in "I do not envy you".

Secondly, you do need to include a direct object for the verb "give" as it is a compulsory ditransitive verb.

And so we end up with:

First, I'm sorry because I thought I had given you our phone number, but I may have forgotten. Anyway, here it is.

  • But this is what I am wondering "HAVE I FORGOTTEN OR NOT ". So what is the difference between "May be , I have forgotten or I may have forgotten"
    – Yves Lefol
    Jul 29, 2015 at 11:49
  • The assumption is that whether or not you've forgotten something is always known. It presupposes that there was a thing to forget. It either happened and you forgot, or you remember (so you did not). If it didn't happen at all there is nothing to have forgotten, and that is what you are asking. Since "I've forgotten" focuses the sentence on the result of forgetting, it sounds unnatural when questioning whether there even was a thing to forget. In short, "maybe I've forgotten" is probably something you would say only if you recently experienced severe head trauma or suffer from amnesia.
    – akedrou
    Jul 31, 2015 at 21:16

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