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-   -   "Remember Doing" vs "Remembered To Do It" (http://www.eslhq.com/forums/esl-forums/english-questions/remember-doing-vs-remembered-do-3435/)

Whistleblower Feb 18th, 2007 08:33 pm

"Remember Doing" vs "Remembered To Do It"
 
What is the difference between the two and how would you explain the difference to Upper Int./Adv. adult students? How would set the context? Any help would be great. :becky:

clivehawkins Feb 19th, 2007 01:26 am

Re: "Remember Doing" vs "Remembered To Do It"
 
remember is one of those verbs which can be followed by another verb in either the infinitive or 'ing' form.

The meaning changes.

I remebered to shut the gate.

First I remebered to do something then I did it.

I remember closing the gate

I did it and now I recall doing it.

I usually teach this in the context of an old bill that is being contested. I give them the story of how a phone bill arrived and I left it in the office for a couple of weeks. Then, just before the due date, I remebered to pay it. So I went to the post office and waited in line for an hour on a very hot day etc etc and finally paid the bill.

A couple of weeks later i got a letter saying they were going to cut off the phone because I hadn't paid. I replied that I remember paying the bill because the queue was so long, it was baking hot and above all the woman in front of me in the queue was drop-dead gorgeous and was wearing the shortest miniskirt in the history of short miniskirts. I definitely remember paying the bill!!!

If only it were true.
Hope that helps.

keith t Feb 19th, 2007 05:09 am

Re: "Remember Doing" vs "Remembered To Do It"
 
As Clive said, "remember" is one of a small group of verbs where the meaning changes if you use the infinitive or gerund in the following verb.

One way you can make this easy for students to remember is by specifically highlighting the order in which the events occur.

Using Clive's example:

I remembered to shut the gate
Action 1: remember
Action 2: shut the gate

I remember shutting the gate
Action 1: shut the gate
Action 2: remember (in this context recall)

So, if the second verb is in the infinitive, it is action number 2. if the second verb is a gerund, it is action number 1. A timeline can help to clarify this further.

I find this works well with many students who respond to clear-cut grammar rules and explanations. Of course, things aren't that clear-cut in the world of English grammar, and any explanation of this point requires a lot of examples in different contexts, and a lot of practice. But it can be a very useful foundation on which to base the examples and contexts.

Here's an example with stop:

I stopped to smoke
Action 1: stop
Action 2: smoke

So I stopped whatever I was doing in order to have a cigarette.

I stopped smoking
Action 1: smoke
Action 2: stop

First I smoked, and then I stopped. In other words I gave up smoking.

Good luck - Keith

Whistleblower Feb 19th, 2007 06:05 am

Re: "Remember Doing" vs "Remembered To Do It"
 
Thank you so much, it was an assignment for my CELTA Course and I had been scratching my head for ages to think of a context. It is so helpful. I have to redo my assignment, they tell me it is pretty standard and a learning curve so that's what I take it and hopefully learn better on how to teach.

I looked at many grammar books and the definition between Keith and Clive have shown it not to be so difficult. I have also decided to implement a timeline to further show with Keith's example the difference in remembering and the action.

Many thanks for the help and fingers crossed that my first assignment passes second time round.


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