Learn English – short phrase to describe forgetting to do something because something else had your attention


I'm trying to determine if a short translation exists for the Greek word "ξεχάστηκα", which literally means "I got forgotten" but is generally used to express that the speaker forgot to do something because their attention was given to something else.

An example usage would be the following (using "got forgotten" for now):

"I got forgotten and missed the ship."

(Implying that the speaker was absorbed in something else -which they don't mention- and forgot to look at the time until it was too late.)

Possible candidates would be simply "forgot" and "got carried away" but both don't match the usage entirely.

"Forgot" requires that you say what you forgot to do, implicitly or explicitly:

"I forgot to look at the time, and missed the ship."

"Got carried away" seems to me to imply that you did too much of something rather than forgetting to do something else (although I could be wrong) and also requires you to say what you were doing, even vaguely:

"I got carried away doing something, and missed the ship."

It's entirely possible that no word or phrase with this exact meaning exists in English and that translating a phrase where the original was used would require changing the context, but I thought it would be worth it to ask.

Best Answer

You can say:

I was distracted and missed the ship

I got distracted and missed the ship

From Oxford Learners Dictinaries:

Distracted (adjective). Unable to pay attention to someone or something because you are worried or thinking about something else.

Distract (verb). To take someone's attention away from what they are trying to do.