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'Remember to Do' or 'Remember Doing'? What Is the Difference? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 13 February 2024)


Remember to Do or Remember Doing: What Is the Difference?

Remember to do something means 'not forget to do a future task':

Remember to lock the door when you leave.

✅ You must remember to sign your name at the bottom of the form. 

✅ We always remember to pay bills on time to avoid late fees.

✅ Before you go on holiday, remember to secure travel insurance to cover any unexpected incidents during your trip.

Remember doing something means 'recall a past action that has already been completed':

I remember locking the door before I left. I don't know why it's open now.

✅ I remember meeting you at John's birthday party last year.

✅ She remembers visiting the Eiffel Tower when she was a child.

✅ I remember telling you the password. Do you recall it? 

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Examples from the Media

It's good form to try to remember to carry cash on you in the lead-up to Remembrance Day. It's the least we can do. But, still, having other payment options available only makes getting a poppy easier. —Toronto Sun (2021)

The findings could potentially help everyone from pupils revising for exams to people simply trying to remember to do something. —Daily Mail (2015)

"Seeing your work printed in something that people you don't know can read is an incredible feeling," she says. "I remember seeing someone standing on the street reading this thing and thinking 'Oh my goodness, anyone could read that, and it's got my writing in it'. You get bitten by the bug, definitely." —The Age (2023)

Now that Cupid's algorithm has matched you, you could respond with a short note: "Hi. I remember meeting you for coffee back in the 'before times,' and thank you again for meeting me that day. I eventually got a job at Cybertech and have been mainly working remotely lately. Your interviewing coaching did help! Are you still at TechBubble? I suppose it was bound to happen to someone at some point but honestly, I have never been matched online with someone I'd met IRL. Awkward, for sure — but funny, too." —The Washington Post (2022)

Practice

Choose the correct option to complete each sentence.

1. I remember to lock/locking the door, but I'll check it again just to be sure.

2. Remember to call/calling your mum on her birthday.

3. John, remember to answer/answering all the questions on the exam, even if you're unsure.

4. We remember to bake/baking cookies for the first time together. It was so much fun!

5. You must remember to warm/warming up properly before the match to prevent injuries.

6. I remember to see/seeing that movie with you when it first came out.

7. Remember to take/taking your medication before breakfast.

8. It's important to remember to stay/staying hydrated during your hike in the desert.

9. No one remembered to turn/turning off the air-conditioner after leaving the classroom. What a waste of electricity!

Answer Key

1. locking    2. to call    3. to answer    4. baking    5. to warm    6. seeing    7. to take    8. to stay    9. to turn

Recommended Further Reading

'Forget to Do' or 'Forget Doing'?

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