Let's say someone who's above me, like a teacher or a boss, forgot to do something. How would I notify them without being rude?

I only know the basic "~するのを忘れました"(though I'm not even sure if that's correct), but I want to be a bit more humble and roundabout.

I would appreciate if you could give me multiple different ways to do this.

Thanks in advance!

  • Related: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/53942/…
    – user4032
    Jan 9, 2019 at 1:24
  • 1
    I guess it really depends on who you are interacting with. But just by scanning through many articles online, it seems many people believe the most Japanese way is to not point it out at all. Jan 10, 2019 at 9:14
  • 1
    Actually, perhaps this link can be of use: u-note.me/note/47497375#link0 . In summary, rather than highlighting the mistake, refer to what you think may be wrong, and then gently suggest that it be rechecked. For example「○○は□□ではないでしょうか?恐れ入りますが、ご確認お願い致します」 Jan 10, 2019 at 9:22

1 Answer 1


I would suggest that you humbly inquire whether they have done it already, or humbly state that it hasn't been done yet.

So if your boss forgot to reply to an email from last week, you could say something like,


"Have you already replied to (the) email?"



"It seems that the client hasn't received a response yet."

(be sure to trail off with a long pause and make your face look real worried...)

  • To avoid being rude, you should try to point out that something hasn't happened yet and avoid "assuming" that they forgot ;)

Also, for bonus points try to look and ask them if you can do the thing they forgot.


"May I reply to the email from the client?"

(this is more effective if you appear to be out of breath...)

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