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forget and remember to do or doing

Remember & Forget doing or to do?

by | 28 Sep 2019 | English Language


Remember to do, remember doing, forget to do, forget doing: remember and forget are English verbs that can be followed both by a verb ending in -ing (a gerund) or by the infinitive form of the verb. 


However, there is a difference in meaning and that difference is connected with time.


Here is how to make sure you understand the difference and use them properly:


Remember / Forget doing:

Use remember and forget followed by a verb in -ing for something that has happened (past!). 

For example:

  • I’ll never forget travelling across Europe. 
  • I’ll always remember travelling across Europe.

→ Here, in both sentences, choose the gerund (-ing) travelling because it is something that you have done, that has happened (in the past)


Remember / Forget to do:

Use remember and forget followed by an infinitive for something that you need or needed to do, that has or had to be done.

For example:

  • Don’t forget to call the agency. → you need to call the agency
  • Oh I’m sorry, I forgot to post the letter! → I had to post the letter
  • Remember to buy something to eat on your way back home. → You need to buy something to eat.


There you are! It’s as simple as that! You now know how to use the English verbs remember and forget. Congratulations! 😉


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  1. Ellen

    Very clear my dear!

  2. Mike

    Simple to follow, thanks!

    But what about: I forgot to post the letter! vs I forgot posting the letter!

    Both mean the same, right?

    • Yolaine Bodin

      Thank you Mike. Actually, we would say “I forgot to post the letter” rather than “I forgot posting the letter” simply because if you forgot to do it, then it means that the act of posting the letter has not actually happened. Remember that the ending in -ing is only used for something that has happened. I hope this helps 🙂


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