Posted by: janecronin | February 17, 2019


The verb “recordar” means “to remember” and also “to remind”.  I think it´s fairly easy to remember the meaning of “recordar” if we associate it with the English verb “to record”.

It is a root-changing “o to ue” verb.  This means, for example, that “I remember” is “recuerdo” (and not recordo).  We have seen a lot of root-changing verbs in the course of these articles, so by now you should have noticed that they all follow the same pattern.  This means, of course, that they do not count as “irregular” verbs.  An example of this root-change that we see in everyday life in Spain is the road sign which consists of a circular speed notice accompanied by the word “Recuerde”.  This is a polite command – “remember” reminding the driver to keep to the same speed as already indicated further down the road.

Actually, there are two ways of saying “I remember” – one is as above “recuerdo” and the other is “me acuerdo” from the reflexive very “acordarse”.  It´s sometimes hard for English speakers to appreciate that there are two ways of saying the same thing, one non-reflexive (recordar) and one reflexive (acordarse) and I’m afraid I don’t have a magic explanation either, except to say that the Spanish, for some reason tend to prefer the reflexive form when there is a choice.  So, “I don´t remember” is more often expressed as “no me acuerdo” although “no recuerdo” also means the same thing.  When using the reflexive form, we have to add the word “de” if we extend the sentence, so “No recuerdo tu nombre” but “No me acuerdo de tu nombre”.

As mentioned above “recordar” also means “to remind” so we can say “recuérdame tu nombre” (remind me of your name) or “recuérdame que tengo que llamar al fontanero” (remind me that I have to phone the plumber).  Also, when we are passively reminded of something – the same verb applies: “me recuerdas a mi madre” (you remind me of my mother).

Most derivatives of “recordar” contain the complete root “record” and so are quite easy to identify.  If something is “recordable” it is “memorable”.  A useful word is “recordatorio” which means “reminder”.  I find the Spanish tend to rely on these rather a lot.  When you get a phone call from your dentist reminding you that you have an appointment the next day, that is called a “recordatorio”.  Personally, I think they would save a lot of time and money if everyone just bought themselves a decent diary – but obviously I´m very old-fashioned or very British in that respect, or probably both.

The Spanish have re-imported the English word “record” when they want to talk about the Guinness Book of ….  In Spanish it is written with an accent over the letter e – “récord” so that the cadence of the words sounds more like the English original.   It´s possible that I might be the world record holder (la poseedora del récord mundial) for droning on about Spanish verbs.


  1. Hi Jane

    I haven’t had any posts from you for a couple of weeks and wonder if I’ve fallen off your subscription list? A friend has been receiving them so I know it’s not that you’ve stopped sending them! Please would you be kind enough to add me to your mailings again? I do miss them. Many thanks.

    Kind regards

    • Hi Susan, Thank you for your message. I have no idea why this has happened as I haven´t changed anything on the blog and the messages go out automatically. Could you just check in your SPAM or unwanted mail box just in case they’ve made their way into there? If not, let me know and I’ll look into it. Best wishes

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