We say “never mind” when we want someone to disregard something. While “never mind” is the most common way to communicate this idea, it’s not necessarily the most professional. This article will explore some alternatives that can be used in professional emails.
What Can I Say Instead Of “Never Mind” In Professional Emails?
Here are the phrases we’ll be exploring in this article:
- Disregard that
- Ignore that
- Don’t worry about that
- It’s been taken care of
- X handled it
- No need to trouble yourself
- Pay no attention to
- It’s no longer important
- Put it out of your mind
- You can take X off your plate
The preferred option is “disregard that.” “Disregard that” is synonymous with “never mind” but the wording is more formal. It’s always easier to contextualize “disregard that” if it’s being said slightly out of context, a trait that is particularly useful in emails.
“Disregard that” is a great replacement for “never mind” in most contexts. While you can simply say “disregard that” and leave it at that, it’s easy to add more information to make it clearer what exactly should be disregarded.
To “disregard” something is to ignore it, specifically when it’s information that’s been stated before or that you otherwise would know.
“Disregard” often has a negative association when used to describe someone’s actions. For example, you might hear someone say, “He completely disregarded the rules.” When used as a command, however, the association is neutral.
“That” can be replaced with another pronoun or a noun.
Here are some ways you can use “disregard that” in professional emails:
- Hey John,
- Disregard that last email. I meant to send it to John S.
- Sorry about that,
- Please disregard the event invitation that was just sent out. We were attempting to test the system. It’s not a real event invitation!
- Communications Department
“Ignore that” is a solid replacement for “never mind” in most contexts. You can use “ignore that” when you want someone to disregard previously communicated information or when you want someone to ignore incoming information.
“Ignore” can be synonymous with “disregard” but it doesn’t always imply that the information has been stated before.
This means that you can “ignore” something in the sense that you’re disregarding previously stated information, and also in the sense that you’re not listening to any new information.
Here are some examples to make this clearer:
- Education Team,
- The executive team is going to send around a memo regarding appropriate dress in the office. You can go ahead and ignore that, as it won’t apply to our team.
- Associated Direction of Education
- Please ignore that last email from Aaron. He wasn’t appropriately briefed on the situation. I’ll update you with the correct information before the end of the day.
Don’t Worry About That
“Don’t worry about that” can be used to ask someone to fully disregard something, but it’s also useful if you want them to temporarily or partially disregard it.
If, for example, someone is focusing on a certain part of a project before they need to you may want to say “never mind about that for now.” While that isn’t wrong, a better way to say that is “don’t worry about that for now.”
When we say “don’t worry about that” we’re not necessarily using “worry” in the literal sense of being anxious or troubled about something. While “worry” can mean that in this context, it usually carries its idiomatic meaning of more general concern.
Here are some examples:
- Regarding the budget: don’t worry about that. The board is committed to giving us what we need as long as we can demonstrate we need it. Just don’t go overboard.
- Hello Rick,
- To answer your first question: don’t worry about that for now. We’re going to be meeting about that part of the project early next month. Keep the notes you have, but don’t work on it further.
It’s Been Taken Care Of
“It’s been taken care of” is a good phrase to use when you want someone to disregard an instruction or request because someone else already did it.
“It” can be replaced with whatever task or instruction needs to be disregarded.
Here’s how that might look in a professional email:
- The mailing’s been taken care of already. Thanks for being willing to help!
- We don’t need those files from you anymore. It’s been taken care of.
X Handled It
“X handled it” is similar to “it’s been taken care of.” The key difference is “X handled it” specifies who completed the task. This can be useful to give credit to someone or to direct someone to the person who can give them more information.
To use “X handled it” you replace “X” with the person, group, department, company, or organization that handled a particular task.
You can also replace “it” with the task that has been handled.
Here are some examples:
- Dear Communications,
- Education handled it. Focus on the press releases for now.
- Events Coordinator
- Lee handled the mail merge already. Thank you for being willing to help! We’ll let you know if there’s any other way you can support.
No Need To Trouble Yourself
“No need to trouble yourself” is a polite way to say “never mind.” It emphasizes the effort that the person was willing to put into a particular task.
This phrase is also useful when the person you’re talking to has already put in some effort into a particular project or issue and you want to tell them that you no longer require their help.
Here are some ways you can use “no need to trouble yourself” in a professional email:
- No need to trouble yourself with the accounts! We figured it out.
- Thank you so much,
- No need to trouble yourself further with the data. Lisa’s technology is back up and running and she can take it from here. Thank you so much for the work you put in on this!
Pay No Attention To
“Pay no attention to” is a more formal way to say “ignore that” especially when you need to contextualize the statement. Because it’s so easy to contextualize, it’s particularly useful in telling people to ignore specific details of a project or idea.
Like “ignore that,” “pay no attention to” can be used to tell someone to ignore previously stated information as well as to tell someone to ignore new information.
Here are some ways you can use “pay no attention to”:
- Pay no attention to the last line of my previous email. I didn’t mean to include that.
- Communications team,
- Pay no attention to that memo that just came from Events. It doesn’t apply to our team. I’m meeting with one of the events coordinators later today to clarify what they’ll need from us.
It’s No Longer Important
“It’s no longer important” is a good phrase to use when something has changed. It communicates that something that was previously important or thought to be important no longer matters and can be disregarded.
As with the other phrases on this list, “it’s” can be replaced with more specific information regarding what specifically is no longer important.
Here are some examples:
- That particular data is no longer important to the funders. We don’t need it either, so I’d just go ahead and remove it from the spreadsheet.
- It’s no longer important to spend time resetting the printer every morning. We have a new printer that doesn’t have the same bug.
Put It Out Of Your Mind
“Put it out of your mind” is useful for when someone is focusing on something that isn’t currently important, doesn’t apply to them, or that someone else is meant to worry about.
“It” can be replaced with another pronoun, a noun, or a noun phrase. That’s where you can specify the thing that needs to be put out of someone’s mind if needed.
Here are some ways you can use “put it out of your mind”:
- Communications is handling the flyer. Put it out of your mind. I want to make sure everything is perfect too, but we need you focused on the event coordination.
- Put the data out of your mind. The Operations team is handling it this month. If there are mistakes, that’s their problem, not yours.
- Thank you for caring, but I really need you focused on Project A.
You Can Take X Off Your Plate
This phrase is useful for when someone was previously responsible for something but for whatever reason they no longer need to worry about it.
To have something on your plate is an idiom that means you have important work to do. You’ll commonly hear people in professional settings say they have a lot on their plate, which means they have a lot of work to do.
To use “you can take X off your plate,” replace the “X” with the task in question or a pronoun like “that” or “it.”
Here are some examples:
- You can take the Miller Report off your plate. I’ve delegated it to Sam.
- Thank you,
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.