Quick English: Remember vs. Remind

There are many verb pairs in English that are easy to confuse with each other. Usually, a native speaker will understand what you are trying to say, but using verbs properly will help you sound fluent.

One pair that is very easy to confuse is Remember and Remind.

remember: to think of something from the past again

Remember is a verb used when someone thinks of something again. The sentence doesn't need anything else to say who or what brought back the memory, but just that it happened.

Remember is often (but not always) used with when, where, why and how. It does not need to take an object, but it can have one.

Alex suddenly remembered what he intended to buy from the supermarket.

I remember when I used to love going to the ice cream shop after school.

remind: to make someone think about something again

Remind always takes an object. What that means is that remind requires two people or things in a sentence. The subject, or the person who is doing the reminding, and an object, the person or thing that is being thought about again.

If you think about "remind" as a phrasal verb with "remind of", it should help. Someone or something "reminds you of" someone or something else. A person or thing also "reminds you to" do something.

Sarah reminds me of my sister Lily.

She reminded me to finish my my vocabulary sheet before class tomorrow.

Here are some more remind/remember examples:

  • Alsou reminded her brother that it was his turn to empty the recycling bins.
  • Why don't I ever remember to bring a pen to class?!
  • Can you remind Fernando that he needs to pack his hiking boots for the trip tomorrow?
  • Remind me of her name, I can't remember it!
  • It's much easier to remember something once I ask someone to remind me of it.

Have you ever confused remember and remind? Are there other word pairs that confuse you?

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