Remember or Remind

Remember or Remind

By Alena Lien, 

1 March 2021



I explain the differences between "remember" and "remind." Both verbs are related to memory.


Because these verbs have some very specific sentence structures, I'll briefly explain their main difference first and then go compare them in more detail.



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Remember vs Remind


Remember


This means to think of or bring to mind someone or something. It is usually used for recalling past memories and can also be used to keep something in mind.


- Recall a past memory.


  • "I remember eating this when I was a child."

  • "Remember that old man that used to tell us off all the time?"



- To keep something in mind for the future.


  • "I must remember to get some bread."

  • "You should make more of an effort to remember your colleague's names."



Remind


This means that someone or something else caused you to remember someone or something. This can be used to refer to a past memory or to help someone to remember something.


- Cause someone to remember a past memory.


  • "Eating this reminds me of the pancakes my mom used to make for me."

  • "He really reminds me of the actor from "Sherlock."



- To help someone remember something.


  • "Remind me to get some bread later."

  • "I have to remind him to take out the rubbish every week."





Sentence structures and associated meanings


1.   "Remember" is usually followed by a someone or something; "remind" is always followed by someone.


"Remember"+ a memory or a piece of information


  • "I remember Mrs Wright - she was our Grade 6 teacher."

  • "She remembered to call her mother after work."



"Remind" + a person that remembers or recalls


  • "This song reminds me of my trip to Paris."

  • "The clinic called to remind me that I have an appointment tomorrow."



2.   "Remember" + [to-infinitive] and "remind" + [to-infinitive] have different meanings.


"Remember" + [to-infinitive] - to not forget to do something


  • "Remember to save your work often in case your computer crashes."

  • "I must remember to go to the post office later."



"Remind" + [to-infinitive] - to help someone not to forget to do something.


However, when you remind someone else to do something, we do not actually use "remind."


  • "Don't forget to call the clinic later."

  • "Remember to call the clinic later."

Not - Remind to call the clinic later."



Usually you ask someone else or do something to remind you to do something.


  • "Can you remind me later to call the clinic?"

  • "Let me write this down to remind myself to book an appointment."



3.   "Remember" + [-ing form] means to think of a past memory.


  • "I remember visiting my grandma and eating her cookies."

  • "Do you remember eating her cookies when you visited her?"



4.   "Remind" + [of] means to make someone remember a past memory.


  • "He really reminds me of the actor from "Sherlock."

  • "Eating this reminds me of the pancakes my mom used to make for me."