“Remember doing” and “remember to do” are similar phrases which mean “to recall” or “to bring to mind” a past action.

To remember doing” is used when you remember something after you did it.

To remember to do” is used when you remember to do something before you do it.

Overview
To remember doingTo remember to do
To remember after doing somethingTo remember before doing something
“Remember” + gerund“Remember” + to-infinitive
Cannot be used with future tensesCan be used in the past, present and future
Used as a reminder phrase with present tense

To remember doing

1. To remember something after you have done it.

Here, “remember” is always followed by a gerund or gerund phrase.

  • “He remembers putting the car keys down but he can’t remember where.”
  • “I don’t remember driving past the milk bar.”
2. ‚ÄčThis cannot be used with future tenses.

This is better used in the past simple and present simple tenses.

  • “She remembered locking the door before getting onto the car.”
  • “I don’t remember buying any chocolate. I must have forgotten.”
    Not – “I’ll remember getting milk on the way home.”

To remember to do

1. To remember something before doing it.

Here, “remember” is always followed by an infinitive or infinitive phrase.

  • “I remembered to write it down but I don’t remember where I put my note.”
  • “She remembers to check the pockets before washing them.”
2. This can be used in the past, present and future tenses.
  • “I remembered to put the car keys on the table.”
  • “I remember to put the car keys on the table.”
  • “I‘ll remember to put the car keys on the table.”
3. This is often used as a reminder phrase.

This phrase can be used to remind someone to do something. This is usually used with modal verbs of necessity or obligation or in the imperative.

a. With modal verbs of necessity or obligation

Such as “must,” “have to,” and “should,” etc.

  • “I have to remember to put the car keys on the table.”
  • “You must remember to read and sign this letter before this Friday.”
b. Imperative sentences
  • “Please remember to put the car keys on the table.”
  • Remember to thaw the steak for tonight’s dinner.”

See also: Differences: Remember or Remind


Original post: 27 September 2018