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Instructor: Elena Sacramento

Elena teaches Spanish as a foreign language and has a PhD in linguistics.

In this lesson we will learn about the Spanish verb ''recordar'', which means 'to remember' or 'to remind'. We will study its use in the preterite, one of the past tenses, and the imperative through different examples and contexts.

Introducing the Verb Recordar

Do you normally remember your weekly duties and errands or do you have to write everything down? Do you have to remind other people to do things or is it normally the other way round? In order to talk about these topics in Spanish, you will need the verb recordar.

Recordar means 'to remember', so we can use it when we talk about ideas, pictures, or facts that we bring into our mind. However, it can also mean 'to remind' in contexts in which we make people remember something they must do.

Recordar = To remember

Preterite of Recordar

We use the preterite to talk about finished actions in the past. Conjugating recordar in the preterite is easy! We only need to take the verb stem record- and add the preterite endings.

VERB: recordar (reh-kohr-DAHR) - to remember/remind

Subject Pronouns Recordar Conjugation: Preterite Pronunciation Translation
yo recordé reh-kohr-DEH I remembered/reminded
recordaste reh-kohr-DAHS-teh you remembered/reminded
él/ella/usted recordó reh-kohr-DOH he/she/you formal remembered/reminded
nosotros/as recordamos reh-kohr-DAH-mohs we remembered/reminded
vosotros/as recordasteis reh-kohr-DAHS-tays you all remembered/reminded
ellos/ellas/ustedes recordaron reh-kohr-DAH-rohn they/you all formal remembered/reminded

Using Recordar in the Preterite

Now, let's see how to use this verb in context. Let's talk about Carmen, who is normally quite forgetful and needs to write down notes or make people remind her to do things. She has just arrived at the airport, where Ana is waiting for her.

Ana: ¿Recordaste traer tu pasaporte? ('Did you remember to bring your passport?')

Carmen: Sí, pero no recordé el cepillo de dientes ni la cámara de fotos. ('Yes, but I didn't remember my toothbrush or the camera'.)

Ana: ¿Y recordaste que teníamos que reservar los billetes de tren antes de llegar? ('And did you remember we had to book the train tickets before arriving?')

Notice that recordar allows different structures - it can be followed by a noun, an infinitive or a sentence introduced by que.

Let's see more examples:

RecordarMC crossbody pig Lightblue bag Genuine bag 5001 Leather Mini Nubuck 25CM style MACTON® Grey Size qTFzAggw + noun:

  • No recordé la letra de la canción. ('I didn't remember the song's lyrics'.)

Recordar + infinitive:

  • ¿Recordasteis comprar el pan? ('Did you remember to buy the bread?')

Recordar + que + sentence:

  • No recordamos que teníamos que venir más temprano hoy. ('We didn't remember that we had to come earlier today'.)

Reminding Someone to Do Something

In all the examples above, the meaning of recordar is 'to remember'. However, as we saw in the introduction, recordar also means 'to remind'. In this case, the structure is a bit different - we need an object pronoun IN FRONT of the verb that indicates to whom we remind to do something.

Subject + Object Pronoun (me/te/le/nos/os/les) + recordar + (a + name of person) + Noun/Infinitive/Sentence

Examples:

  • Mi hermano me recordó traer la cámara de fotos. ('My brother reminded me to bring the camera'.)
  • Le recordamos a Carmen que reservara los billetes. ('We reminded Carmen to book the tickets'.)

Imperative of Recordar

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We use the imperative in order to give a direct order or command. The imperative forms of recordar keep the verb stem record- in the first and second person plural. However, in the rest of the forms, there is a change in the stem vowel, so we will use the irregular stem recuerd-.

VERB: recordar (reh-kohr-DAHR) - to remember/remind

Subject Pronouns Recordar: Imperative Pronunciation Translation
Women Clutches Rhinestones Purse Wedding Bags For Luxurious V beige Embroidery Design Evening Beaded KYS Handbags recuerda reh-KWEHR-dah (you) remember/remind
usted recuerde reh-KWEHR-deh (you formal) remember/remind
nosotros/as recordemos reh-kohr-DEH-mohs (we) let's remember/remind
vosotros/as recordad reh-kohr-DAHD (you all) remember/remind
ustedes recuerden reh-KWEHR-dehn (you all) formal remember/remind

Using Recordar in the Imperative

The imperative forms of the verb recordar can be used as reminders in conversations, but they are also typically used in written signs and warnings. In formal contexts, these signs are normally addressed to a group of people by using the formal 'you' (ustedes). Again, this verb can be followed by a noun, an infinitive or a sentence introduced by que.

Recordar + noun:

  • Recuerda nuestro trato. ('Remember our deal'.)

Recordar + infinitive:

Translation: Remember to buy the present for Mum

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Basic Spanish: Help & Review

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