The verb forget or leave?

When I was a student (ESL), I learned that when we mention the place where we left something we don’t use the verb forget, but leave. Then I came across this sentence in a book. Is this sentence correct, or am I overlooking something about it?

When the bus arrived at the bus stop, I realized I had forgotten my lunch at home.

Thanks for your help.

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Yes it is correct. I’m not sure what your ESL teacher was saying. “I forgot it at home.” and “I left it at home.” are both correct.

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But look what the Oxford, and Cambridge online dctionaries say about this issue:

https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/forget?q=forget

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/pt/gramatica/gramatica-britanica/forget-or-leave

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Let’s take a look at the following quote from the Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries link: “You cannot use forget if you want to mention the place where you have left something I’ve left my book at home. I’ve forgotten my book at home.”

The problem with this statement is that it’s the wrong approach to language: What you can or can not say is not defined by any dictionary. If a certain percentage of educated native speakers find a word or phase acceptable and idiomatic, it becomes standard English.

The sentence ‘I left my book at home’ is very ambiguous because it doesn’t say whether or not it was your intention to leave the book at home. If you say ‘I forgot my book at home’ it’s clear that you left your book at home unintentionally. So, why exactly should you not say it?

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Torsten, thanks for the reply.

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For me ‘I forgot my book at home’ is a definite no-no. It is open to a strange misinterpretation - it suggests that you are not thinking about the book you have at home. Does that make sense? What you really want to say is - Oh! I’ve forgotten my book. I must have / I’ve left it at home.

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I think you mean your lunchbox.
To me, When the bus arrived at the bus stop, I realized I had forgotten to carry my lunch/lunchbox (along). seems better, and would solve the problem.

I left my keys at home ordinarily means that I forgot to carry my keys when I left home.

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When the bus arrived at the bus stop, I realized I had forgotten my lunch at home.

Again, Thomas, this just DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. You simply cannot ‘forget something in a place’.

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Hi Lawrence,

I would have thought ‘lunch’ on its own would suffice as it’s the meal rather than the container that has been ‘forgotten’.

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