A lot of people tend to get tripped up with certain quirks of the English language; the distinction between “nevermind” vs “never mind” remains one such tripping hazard.
Some people use “nvm” or “nm,” but it only works in a handful of situations. And, writing an essay is not one of those options.
The rest of this article is dedicated to breaking down how these two words should and should not be used.
Let’s Define These Two Terms
The first step in understanding something is knowing what that something is. Let us look at the definitions of these two bits of English and see how well we can untangle the confusion over the use of never mind vs nevermind.
- Never mind: This spelling of the concept is used as an conjunction that means “leave it alone.” It has also been used as an imperative to suggest the disregard of one or more objects in a sentence.
- Nevermind: This word has been used as a noun that roughly means concern. It is also dialectical, meaning that it only shows up within certain dialects of the English language like those spoken in the American Southeast and African-American Vernacular English.
Why These Two Terms Are Often Confused
The English language is Frankenstein’s monster of words, harvested from the unwitting members of other languages. The biggest reason why people get confused on whether they should use nevermind or never mind to convey their message is that they disregard the relevance of space; the end result is two different words that with distinct purposes.
When to Use Each Word/Phrase
The most basic distinction between the proper use of these two terms is in their nature.
- Because nevermind is a noun, it should only be used as a focal point of a sentence. Specifically, it should be used when you wish to convey indifference or disregard for something. As has been brought up before, this word does not even see use outside of certain English dialects, meaning it may also be used by an author to characterize or represent a fictional character’s home region.
- Never mind, when used as a conjunction, is used to link two other words and has similar implications as phrases like “let alone” and “much less,” with the following word often being framed as something negative or even less relevant or of merit to the linked word found earlier in the sentence.
- Never mind, when used as an imperative, should be used by one speaker to urge another party to avoid considering something.
A Few Examples Using Never Mind vs Nevermind
The best way to learn about language is by example. Provided below are several correct examples of usage for each of these two featured words.
- “Never mind that man’s chicanery.”
- “Never mind! It turns out that the keys were with me the whole time.”
- “I take a lot of umbrage never mind disdain for how I deal with people and my job but don’t you dare pretend that you know better than I when it comes to electrical engineering!”
- “A curfew of 10 p.m. means 10 p.m. never mind one, ten or even fifty minutes beyond that point in time!”
- “Nevermind meaning well, she really doesn’t get how truly out of line she was.”
- “It makes no nevermind to me how honorable you are, that was rude!”
- “Don’t you pay that bully no nevermind, he will keep moving from one form of agitation to another until such time that you give him whatever satisfaction his sick mind craves from you.”
So there you have it. An utter and complete breakdown of the purpose and implementation for each of these two specific words.
It is worth reiterating that language, especially the different facets of the English language, is an ever-evolving means of communication. This guide might be accurate now. However, there might be a shift because of the ongoing proliferation of “nevermind” as a one-word imperative.