10 English Phrases for Remembering, Reminding, & Forgetting

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#1 – I remember…

There are a number of ways to use “I remember…”

  • I remember + -ING form of verb
    I remember spending every summer at camp when I was a child.
  • I remember + person or thing
    I remember him – we met at a conference last year.
    I remember that TV show, I used to watch it all the time.
  • I remember + that + subject + verb
    I was going to make hamburgers, but then I remembered that she doesn’t eat meat – so I made a salad instead.

#2 – I’ll never forget… / I’ll always remember…

Use these phrases for people, things, or experiences that were so strong that they will never leave your memory!

#3 – If I remember correctly… / As far as I can recall…

Use these phrases if you’re not 100% certain that what you remember is correct – and you want to communicate this small uncertainty.

#4 – I have a vague recollection of…

Use this phrase when you remember something, but not very well – for example, you remember the general experience a little bit, but not the details.

#5 – It’s on the tip of my tongue.

Use this phrase when you are trying to remember something (usually a word or a person’s name) but you can’t quite say it yet. This expression is often used to get a few more moments to remember the word or name you’re trying to think of.

#6 – My mind went blank.

Use this phrase to describe a moment when you couldn’t remember or think of anything. It’s common for people’s minds to go blank during moments of pressure, like tests and presentations.

#7 – It doesn’t ring a bell. 

Use this phrase when someone asks you if you’ve heard of something, and you want to say that you don’t know about it or don’t remember it. For example, if your colleague says, “Do you know Michael Smith? He works in our London office” – and you don’t remember him or haven’t heard of him, you could say, “No… the name doesn’t ring a bell.”

#8 – I’d like to remind you about / to…

This is a diplomatic way to remind somebody about something so that the other person doesn’t forget! (Click here for the difference between REMEMBER and REMIND).

  • I’d like to remind you about + noun
    I’d like to remind you about your dentist appointment tomorrow.
  • I’d like to remind you to + verb
    I’d like to remind you to send me the information by Friday.

#9 – You haven’t forgotten about / to _____, have you?
I hope you haven’t forgotten about / to…

Use these phrases to check if someone has remembered or forgotten about something. Again, use about + noun and to + verb.

  • You haven’t forgotten to do your homework, have you?
  • You haven’t forgotten about the test, have you?
  • I hope you haven’t forgotten to pay the bill.
  • I hope you haven’t forgotten about our meeting this afternoon.

#10 – It completely slipped my mind!

Use this phrase after you COMPLETELY forgot to do something – you didn’t remember or think of it at all.

  • “I hope you haven’t forgotten to pay the bill.”
    “Oh no – it completely slipped my mind! I’ll pay it first thing tomorrow morning.”

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