Talking about REMEMBERING and MEMORY in English

Hi English learners! Here we are again with a new lesson. Today, we are going to look at the new vocabulary you need for talking about remembering and memory in English.

First of all, you should know that the verb remember can be used with both infinitive and gerund but with different meanings. 

  • Remember to call me as soon as you can. (refers to something you want to remember before you do the action).
  • Do you remember being afraid of the dark when we were little? (something you remember after you did the action).

Find out more about the verbs that change meaning with infinitive and gerund on this link.

Talking about REMEMBERING and MEMORY in English

Keep something in mind

If you keep something in mind, you do your best to remember it because it is important.

  • When you try to quit smoking, keep in mind that willpower is the most important factor.
  • There is nothing we can do about it now but keep it in mind for the next time.

A vivid memory

This is a collocation referring to an extremely clear memory of something.

  • I still have a vivid memory of my grandparents even though they died many years ago.
  • Lorna tried to tell the police her most vivid memory of the accident.

Talking about REMEMBERING and MEMORY in English

To recall

If you recall something, then you remember it.

  • The children could vaguely recall seeing the man.
  • Sandra couldn’t recall what they were talking about at the meeting.

To recollect

Here is another synonym to remember. 

  • Adam had a huge problem. He couldn’t recollect where he had parked the car.
  • She could hardly recollect her early years at her grandparents’ house. 

Talking about REMEMBERING and MEMORY in English

To remind

If you remind someone or something, you help them remember it.

  • I can’t remember what it’s called. Can you remind me, please?
  • Your daughter reminds me of your mother. They really look alike a lot.

To reminisce

If you reminisce something, you remember some enjoyable events and experiences from the past.

  • I had lunch with my old friend Jack and we were reminiscing about our school years. It was fun.
  • There is nothing my grandma likes more than reminiscing about the days before the war.

Talking about REMEMBERING and MEMORY in English

Do something from memory

If you do something from memory, you remember it from the past, like a song or a poem.

  • After all these years, I can still recite that song we learned at school from memory.
  • The best man gave a pretty long speech about the groom from memory.

 On the tip of your tongue

When you can’t remember the word at the moment but you feel like you’ll remember it soon you can say that it’s on the tip of your tongue.

  • We watched a great film last night. Its name is on the tip of my tongue but I can’t remember it at the moment. 
  • Her name is on the tip of my tongue. Fiona! That’s it.

Talking about REMEMBERING and MEMORY in English

For old times’ sake

When you do something for old times’ sake, you do it to remember some happy times from the past.

  • We should arrange to meet up again for old times’ sake.
  • You don’t have to do it for me. Do it for the old times’ sake.

 A walk/ trip down memory lane

The idiomatic expression means to remember some happy past events.

  • If you are in the mood to take a walk down memory lane please join me.
  • Michael took a trip down memory lane by playing some old videos.

Talking about REMEMBERING and MEMORY in English

Go in one ear and out the other

The expression refers to something you hear but forget soon after that.

  • Everything I told you seemed to go in one ear and out the other.
  • I keep telling my children what to do but my words just go in one ear and out the other.

Memory like a sieve

If you have memory like a sieve, then you have a bad memory.

  • You have a memory like a sieve. You should write down everything if you don’t want to forget it.
  • We’d better remind dad about the anniversary. He’s got a memory like a sieve.

Talking about REMEMBERING and MEMORY in English

Useful phrases related to remembering

Here are some useful phrases you can use to sound more competent or in your writing:

  • As far as I can remember, there used to be a cinema and now it’s a restaurant.
  • If my memory serves me well, your wife is Brazilian and you have two children.
  • If I remember correctly, your name is Dustin. Am I right?
  • I’ll always remember our holiday in Peru.
  • That reminds me of the old saying which says that it is better to arrive late than never.
Talking about remembering and memory in English
Talking about remembering and memory in English
Good vs well

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