La memoria (memory) is one of the most important human being’s abilities. It reminds us who we are, where we are and how many mistakes we’ve made along our lives. Unfortunately, we’ll have missing years: the first of them and probably the last ones.

La memoria is both, prodigious and enigmatic. Medical advances have not been able to cure illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to this, on we can’t understand why our students no pueden recordar cómo usar el verbo “olvidar” y se olvidan de cómo usar los verbos “recordar” y “acordarse(they can’t remember how to use the verb “olvidar” (forget) and they forget how to use the verbs “recordar” and “acordarse” (remember). Today we’ll help them to solve this problem.

Spanish is a language that plays with the speaker’s intentions using variations in the syntax or the morphology. This is the key to understand how today’s verbs work.

  • Recordar algo (Remember / Remind): It’s a transitive verb. That is a verb which needs a direct object to be formed. They are very common in Spanish: ayer recordé el día en el que nos conocimos (Yesterday I remembered the day we met for the first time). If we use it with an indirect pronoun, it changes its meaning into “remind”: recuérdale a tu padre que tiene una deuda conmigo (remind your father that he has a debt with me).
  • Acordarse de algo (Remember): It’s a pronominal verb, followed by the preposition de: Lo siento, no me acordé de tu cumpleaños (I’m sorry, I didn’t remember your birthday). Using this variation we try to avoid the responsability of the subject: remembering is a action that we can’t control.
  • Olvidar algo (Forget): Here we have another transitive verb. So, we can use it easily: Olvidé la hora de la cita (I forgot the time of the appointment). Using this form, we admit we made that mistake because the subject in that sentence is Yo (me).
  • Olvidarse de algo (Forget): This variation is again pronominal and followed by the preposition de: Me olvidé de llamarte. Lo siento muchísimo (I forgot to call you. I’m very sorry). In this case, although we admit the subject’s (yo – I) fault, we give him a break; we recognise that the action of forgetting is an action that happens inside our brain unintentionally.
  • Olvidársele algo a alguien (Forget): Here we have a mixture. This is a pronominal and transitive form, used with an indirect object too: Tienes que ser más cuidadoso, se te ha olvidado cerrar la puerta (you need to be more careful. You forgot to shut the door). Now the subject is not the person actually, it’s the action or the thing you forgot. So, we remove that guilt from the person and we put the action in the spotlight.

Well, no olvides recordar (don’t forget to remember) that you can learn Spanish in a comfortable way. Just Skype and is needed. Acuérdate de reservar una clase de prueba gratuita aquí (remember to reserve a free trial lesson here). No se te olvidarán nuestras clases (you will not forget our classes).


* Image courtesy of digitalart at