I was thinking about the absent distinction in German between remember and remind. To my knowledge, they are both formulated with\translated to erinnern.

For example:

  • "Can you remind me to open the windows when we get home?"

    Kannst du mich daran erinnern die Fenster aufzumachen, wenn wir heimkommen?


  • "When I asked him, he could no longer remember."

    Als ich ihn gefragt habe, konnte er sich nicht mehr daran erinnern.

So far everything is fine, but what happens if someone wants to remind himself something?

For instance, how would the following be translated:

  • "In the morning I have to remind myself to lock the door."
  • 2
    You would rather not remind yourself, but interdict to forget: "Morgens darf ich nicht vergessen, die Tür abzuschließen"
    – tofro
    Dec 13, 2017 at 12:15
  • "remind" is "erinnern", "remember" is "sich erinnern".
    – IQV
    Dec 13, 2017 at 12:19
  • 1
    @IQV Then one can just say "Ich muss mich morgens daran erinnern, die Tür abzuschließen.", right?
    – Ma0
    Dec 13, 2017 at 12:20
  • @Eller Explaining why would be very thoughtful of you.
    – Ma0
    Dec 13, 2017 at 14:06

2 Answers 2


Wenn sich jemand wie in deinem Beispiel selbst an etwas erinnern will, dann verwendest du besser denken:

Ich muss morgens daran denken, die Tür abzuschließen.

  • Remember to log out: Denk dran, dich abzumelden. Remind me later: Erinner mich später. Mind the step: Vergiss die Stufe nicht.
    – AmigoJack
    Dec 14, 2017 at 12:27
  • @AmigoJack: Ich verstehe deinen Kommentar nicht. Mein Beitrag bezieht sich nur auf Erinnerungen an sich selbst. Was haben deine Beispiele damit zu tun?
    – clemens
    Dec 14, 2017 at 12:48

Ich muss mich morgens daran erinnern, die Tür abzuschließen.

is of course a valid translation of

In the morning I have to remind myself to lock the door.

However, it also is a valid translation of

In the morning I have to remember to lock the door.

If you explicitly want to express the meaning of "remind" ("external" refresh of memory - figuratively done to oneself) in contrast to "remember" (internal access to memory), you can add a "selbst":

Ich muss mich morgens selbst daran erinnern, die Tür abzuschließen.

e.g. if normally someone or something else reminds you, but now you have to do the reminding (and thus not remembering) yourself.

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