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I wrote the following sentence and plugged it into the DeepL translator :

Erinnerst du dich daran, dass er einen Hund hatte?

It was corrected to:

Erinnerst du dich, dass er einen Hund hatte?

The second sentence doesn't sound formally correct to me because the structure is "sich erinnern an". Is it correct and if so, why?

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    By "corrected it to" do you mean that that's the result of a back and forth translation or is sentence correction a feature?
    – Carsten S
    Commented Apr 10 at 19:22

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I do agree with you, however I would not consider the other version wrong.

E.g. when you use another conjunction than "dass" the 'an' is - in my language use at least - rather uncommon: "Erinnerst du Dich, ob er einen Hund hatte?". I'd consider this sentence slightly nicer (but it depends on context) as it does not hint at an expectation of a positive reply as the "dass" does.

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    My impression is that if the thing remembered is an actual thing then you pretty much have to use 'an': "Erinnerst du dich an seinen Hund?" But if it's a fact with a 'dass' or 'ob' clause then the 'an' is optional. However there seems to be a difference in usage between "erinnern" meaning "remember" and "erinnern" meaning "remind", with the 'an' being used more with the second meaning when combined with a 'dass' clause. This is just my impression from the DWDS usage database though, so "citation needed" as they say on Wikipedia.
    – RDBury
    Commented Apr 11 at 7:40
  • @planetmaker : to me, your proposal with "ob" would actually change the meaning, isnt'it ? The sentence "Erinnerst du dich, dass Hans einen Hund hatte?" means that the person asking is sure that Hans had a dog in the past, and just want to know whether you remember this fact or not. While your proposal "Erinnerst du dich, ob Hans einen Hund hatte?" means that the person asking actually does not know whether Hans had a dog in the past, or not. Please correct me if I misunderstood. Commented Apr 12 at 10:08
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    @SylvainGadenne yes, I think it changes it slightly in that way. With "dass" a positive reply is somewhat expected (though not necessarily... it depends a lot on circumstance and intonation, but it's always a bit asking in a confirmation way of what was previously discussed), while with "ob" is neutral as to the answer. Commented Apr 12 at 14:43

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