Both Erinnerung and Gedächtnis can be translated into English as "memory". Are there instances where you would use one word and not the other?


Both "die Erinnerung" and "das Gedächtnis" can be used to express "in memory of somebody/something":

In Erinnerung an die Schlacht von ...

Im Gedenken an unseren Großvater ...

The second sounds a bit more formal, but otherwise their meaning is rather the same.

"Das Gedächtnis" can also be used to express "the memory":

Sein Gedächtnis ist nicht mehr das beste, er hat Anzeichen von Alzheimer.

Here, "Erinnerung" would not fit well.

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    in the last example, you could replace Gedächtnis with Erinnerungsvermögen – Christoph Jan 25 '14 at 10:12
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    furthermore: "Die Erinerrung" is the memory of a single "happening" and "Das Gedächtnis" is the place where all the memories are "stored" – Vogel612 Jan 25 '14 at 13:42

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