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REMEMBER - REMIND: meaning and use

The difference between 'remember' and 'remind'.

The verbs 'remember' and 'remind' have different meanings and uses but they are often confused by learners of English.

REMEMBER is something you can do alone.
It means:
  • to keep something in your mind or memory / to not forget.
  • to tell someone not to forget something
  • to recall a past action or event

REMEMBER: Keep in your memory - I remember my old school.
REMEMBER TO + INFINITIVE: Don't forget - Remember to buy bread.
REMEMBER + ING: Recall a past action - I remember buying bread yesterday.

REMIND means that:
  • you help someone not to forget something
  • something makes you remember something
  • make someone remember a rule or obligation
You 'remind' someone of something so that they will 'remember' it!

REMIND (somebody) TO: Help not to forget - Remind me to call a taxi.
REMIND (somebody)  OF: Bring back memories - These buildings remind me of New York.



To keep in your memory.
  • Do you remember the name of the book?
  • I don't remember the author's name.
  • I remember my father's old car.

Recalling a past action.
  • I remember buying sugar yesterday.
  • I remember putting the book on the shelf.
  • I remember tasting oysters for the first time.

Don't forget, keep in mind.
  • Remember to lock the door when you leave.
  • Remember to fasten your safety belt.
  • Remember to post the letters.

Ask someone to 'say hello to' someone for you.
  • Remember me to your parents when you see them.


Make someone think of something.
  • Apple tart reminds me of my grandmother.
  • This town reminds me of the place where I grew up.
  • This song reminds me of our first date.

Help someone to remember something.
  • Remind me to call my sister. It's her birthday today.
  • I reminded him that we had signed an agreement.
  • Let me remind you of the date of our next meeting.

Make someone remember a rule or obligation.
  • Visitors are reminded that the museum closes at 5 pm.
  • Passengers are reminded that smoking is not allowed on board.
  • Students are reminded that books must not be taken from in the library.

Here are some more examples of use:
Anne to her son Steve : "Remember to turn off the the lights before you leave.
Anne to her friend Sue : "I reminded Steve to turn off the lights before he left."
Sue to Anne : "You remind me of my grandmother - always giving instructions!"

Try an exercise

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