Remember doing or Remember to do

Remember doing or Remember to do

By Alena Lien, 

27 September 2018



"Remember doing" and "remember to do" are similar phrases which mean "to recall" or "to bring to mind" a past action.

"To remember doing" recalls (now) a past action.

"To remember to do" recalled (before) a past action.



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To remember doing

This means that you remember something now that you did in the past. This is usually used in the present simple tense, followed by a gerund phrase.

["remember"] + [gerund phrase]

  • "I remember putting the car keys on the table."


You can also use this in the negative as well with "do not" or "don't."

  • "I don't remember putting the car keys on the table."

The order of actions are as follows.


1.  Past action:

  • "...putting the car keys on the table."

2.  Remember now:

  • "I remember..."




To remember to do

This phrase means to remember something before doing it. This is usually in the past simple tense, followed by an infinitive phrase.

["remembered"] + [infinitive phrase]

  • "I remembered to put the car keys on the table."

The order of actions are as follows.

1.  Remembered:

  • "I remembered..."

2.  Past action:

  • "...to put the car keys on the table."

To remind

You can also use this to remind someone to do something, and this requires the present simple tense instead.

["remember"] + [infinitive phrase]

  • "I have to remember to put the car keys on the table."

  • "Please remember to put the car keys on the table."