I "remember or remembered" to send email yesterday?

frogprince

Member
Taiwan/Chinese
I have tried to look up in the dictionary about the word "remember", and read them all, but I sitll don't understand it well.

"I remember sending email to you yesterday. Why didn't you get it?"
Does it mean that I remember that I have already sent email to you?
The word, yesterday, here seems a little confusing for me. Because I never write a sentence with yesterday and the main verb is present. Is yesterday here describing sending only?

How about "remember to V"
"I remeber to send email to you yesterday. But I was too busy, so I didn't send it at the end." Is this sentence correct? Or should I write in past tence. " I remembered to send email to you yesterday. ...

Oh........confusing...
Please help me out.
Thank you!
 
  • Tabac

    Senior Member
    U. S. - English
    I have tried to look up in the dictionary about the word "remember", and read them all, but I sitll don't understand it well.

    "I remember sending email to you yesterday. Why didn't you get it?"
    Does it mean that I remember that I have already sent email to you?
    The word, yesterday, here seems a little confusing for me. Because I never write a sentence with yesterday and the main verb is present. Is yesterday here describing sending only?Today I remember what I did yesterday.

    How about "remember to V"
    "I remeber to send email to you yesterday. But I was too busy, so I didn't send it at the end." Is this sentence correct? Or should I write in past tence. " I remembered to send email to you yesterday. ... "remembered", because the action happened in the past.

    Oh........confusing...
    Please help me out.
    Thank you!
    In the second case, perhaps "I remembered that I was supposed to send you an email yesterday, but I was too busy..."
     

    panjandrum

    Senior Member
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Perhaps the problem is that although "I remember" is something that happens in the present, whatever you remember must have happened in the past.

    Past ........ A ......... B ......... Now

    I remember that I sent you an e-mail yesterday.
    ...Now..................B..........................B..........
    I sent - indicates past (B)
    yesterday - indicates when in the past.

    I remember sending you an e-mail yesterday.
    ...Now.......(gerund)........................B..............
    I remember - happens now, but must refer to something that happened before now.
    sending - gerund, no time indication
    yesterday - indicates when in the past.

    I remembered <that I had agreed> to send you an e-mail yesterday.
    ...B...........................A.............(infinitive)....................B.............
    I remembered - happened in the past (B), and must refer to something that happened before then, at A.
    What happened at A? I agreed to send you an e-mail (or something like that).
    to send - no time indication
    yesterday - indicates when in the past.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I remembered <that I had agreed> to send you an e-mail yesterday.
    I just want to point out that keeping or removing "that I had agreed" makes a difference in meaning.

    I remembered that I had agreed to send you an e-mail yesterday.
    This means that at some unspecified point in the past, I remembered that I had agreed to send you an e-mail yesterday.
    The sentence does not say anything about whether I ever sent you an e-mail.

    I remembered to send you an e-mail yesterday.
    This means that I remembered that I was supposed to send you an e-mail, and I did so. This all happened yesterday.
     

    frogprince

    Member
    Taiwan/Chinese
    I just want to point out that keeping or removing "that I had agreed" makes a difference in meaning.

    I remembered that I had agreed to send you an e-mail yesterday.
    This means that at some unspecified point in the past, I remembered that I had agreed to send you an e-mail yesterday.
    The sentence does not say anything about whether I ever sent you an e-mail.

    I remembered to send you an e-mail yesterday.
    This means that I remembered that I was supposed to send you an e-mail, and I did so. This all happened yesterday.

    I would like to give thanks to all the helpers first.
    Then here comes another question. In Tabac's help, I remembered that I was supposed to send you an email yesterday, but I was too busy...", In your help, This means that I remembered that I was supposed to send you an e-mail, and I did so. This all happened yesterday.
    Are the first part the same? No matter I did or not? So if I just write " I remembered to send you an email yesterday.", will it confuse people?
    I've learned that "to V" indicates something we haven't done. Is that correct?
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Then here comes another question. In Tabac's help, I remembered that I was supposed to send you an email yesterday, but I was too busy...", In your help, This means that I remembered that I was supposed to send you an e-mail, and I did so. This all happened yesterday.
    No, this means I remembered that I was supposed to send you an e-mail but I did not (because I was too busy).
    Are the first part the same? No matter I did or not? So if I just write " I remembered to send you an email yesterday.", will it confuse people?
    No. This is not confusing and means that I remembered that I was supposed to send an e-mail and I did.

    More examples:

    Before you leave the house, remember to turn off the lights.
    This does not mean that before you leave the house I want you to think about turning off the lights and then not do it. It means I want you to do it.

    -Did you remember to turn off the lights before you left the house?
    -Yes.
    This unambiguously means that the person did turn off the lights.
    I've learned that "to V" indicates something we haven't done. Is that correct?
    I'm not sure what that is supposed to refer to. Do you have any examples? :confused:
     

    frogprince

    Member
    Taiwan/Chinese
    No, this means I remembered that I was supposed to send you an e-mail but I did not (because I was too busy).
    No. This is not confusing and means that I remembered that I was supposed to send an e-mail and I did.

    More examples:

    Before you leave the house, remember to turn off the lights.
    This does not mean that before you leave the house I want you to think about turning off the lights and then not do it. It means I want you to do it.

    -Did you remember to turn off the lights before you left the house?
    -Yes.
    This unambiguously means that the person did turn off the lights.
    I'm not sure what that is supposed to refer to. Do you have any examples? :confused:
    Sometimes the meaning of "Ving" and "to V" seem to be the same, as in "I like seeing movies with you." and "I like to see movies with you" But sometimes they seem to be very different, as in " I don't want to be poor." and " I don't want being poor."
    As I know, "I don't want to be poor." means that I am not poor now and I wish that I won't be. But "I don't want to being poor." could mean that I am a poor guy now, but I strongly hope that I am not going to be like the person I am now.
    Do you get what I mean? Hope so. What's wrong with my thinking? Please correct me.
    Thanks for your patience.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    "I don't want being poor" is not a correct sentence.

    Perhaps you meant "I don't like being poor"? If so, yes, that means I am poor and I don't like it.

    "I don't like to be poor" is a strange construction; it implies that as a rule I don't like to be poor - I am not happy at those times in my life when I am poor (and the sentence does not say anything about whether I'm poor or not right now).

    If I meant that I'm not poor and I wouldn't like to be, I would use "would": "I wouldn't like to be poor."

    Suffice it to say that I think this "rule" you learned was an over-simplification of what I'm afraid is a pretty complicated aspect of English grammar.
     

    frogprince

    Member
    Taiwan/Chinese
    "I don't want being poor" is not a correct sentence.

    Perhaps you meant "I don't like being poor"? If so, yes, that means I am poor and I don't like it.

    "I don't like to be poor" is a strange construction; it implies that as a rule I don't like to be poor - I am not happy at those times in my life when I am poor (and the sentence does not say anything about whether I'm poor or not right now).

    If I meant that I'm not poor and I wouldn't like to be, I would use "would": "I wouldn't like to be poor."

    Suffice it to say that I think this "rule" you learned was an over-simplification of what I'm afraid is a pretty complicated aspect of English grammar.
    Thank you so much for your help. Yes, you exactly understand what my question is even though I used the wrong one, "want".
    Your explanation helps me a lot.
    Does "a pretty complicated aspect of English grammar" mean that it isn't suitable for all? I have told my student's this aspect. Should I stop telling them in this way? Should I get rid of it?
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Personally, I think the potential confusion that could result from introducing such a rule far outweighs its possible benefits - so yes, I would chuck it.
     
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