Google obviously doesn't help, both recorded as remember / recall except 记得 as bring to mind and 记住 as bear in mind.

Found a blog post that is confusing with some claiming 记得 is more about having done the act of remembering.

I found another one with the opposite view here, but I recall learning 记得 early on and its meanings included the act of remembering, including a bit of confusion due to some overlap with 想起来 (outside of scope here).

I'd love outside confirmation and possibly a few example sentences using both 记得 and 记住.

1 Answer 1


The biggest help to clarify the difference is that 记住 has the result complement 住, which is used to express halt (e.g. 站住 stand still), and, by extension, firmness of the action (e.g. 忍住 withstand).

So 记住 literally means "remember firmly", therefore "bear in mind", with also the additional nuance of making an active attempt to remember.


他刚说的话很重要,你一定要记住 = What he just said is very important, you must remember it.

中文语法例外太多,我记不住 = Chinese grammar has too many exceptions, I can't remember them.

记得 instead means simply "to remember", "to recall", without an active effort to remember firmly.


我昨天晚饭吃了什么,我已经不记得了 = I already don't remember what I had for dinner yesterday

明天记得把垃圾扔掉吧 = remember to take out the trash tomorrow

你去超市记得给我买一些水果 = remember to buy me some fruit when you go to the market


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