Recall and remember


Could you please tell me the difference between 'recall’ and 'remember’?


Hi Tom

Those two words are often interchangeable, but not always. The verb ‘recall’ cannot be used to mean ‘not forget to do’.

For example, you can say this:
[color=blue]Did you remember to lock the door?
But you cannot say this:
[color=red]Did you recall to lock the door.

They are basically interchangeable when you mean ‘bring (something) back into your mind’ or ‘not forget doing (something)’.
You can say these:
[color=blue]Do you remember locking the door?
Do you remember his name?

And you can say these:
[color=blue]Do you recall locking the door?
Do you recall his name?

Maybe someone else will have some further comment for you.

Hi Tom,

My word you’re busy this morning! ‘Recall’ often has a touch of pomposity about it. For example if someone asks you to tell them the name of a film/play or whatever, you could simply reply: ‘I can’t remember it’. To my mind if you said: ‘I can’t recall it’, that would sound a bit highfalutin.


Hmmm. Don’t you recall seeing Tom’s posts yesterday evening, Alan? :wink:

By the way, Tom still has some unanswered posts from yesterday. He posted quite a few questions yesterday, but I didn’t have the time to answer all of them. Was there some particular reason you chose to respond exclusively to the ones that I’d already answered? Hmmm …