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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Remind, Remember, Recall


House and Home
House describes a particular type of building. Home is the place where you live and feel that you belong to.

Compare the following:

‘Most people in India live in semi-detached houses.

‘We’re going to buy Tony a doll’s house for Christmas.’

‘The Houses of Parliament in India are visited by 50,000 people each year.’

‘I’ve enjoyed living abroad for the last five years, but it’s time for me to go back home now!’

‘We were at home in bed when our car was stolen from outside the house.’

‘These children need a good home and we are in a position to give them one.’


Travel / journey /trip / expedition / safari

1. Travel is the general term to describe going from one place to another. E.g. His travels abroad provided lots of background material for the novels he wrote.

2. A journey is one single piece of travel. You make journeys when you travel from one place to another. (Note that the plural is spelt journeys, not journeys): The journey from London to Newcastle by train can now be completed in less than three hours.

3. A trip usually involves more than one single journey. We talk about day trips, round trips and business trips, we make journeys usually, but we go on trips. E.g. I went on a day trip to France. We left at 6.30 in the morning and returned before midnight the same day.

4. An expedition is an organized trip whose purpose is usually scientific exploration of the environment. E.g. Numerous expeditions to The Antarctic have ended in disaster.

5. A safari is a trip or expedition to observe wild animals in their natural habitat. E.g. His one ambition in life was to go on safari to Kenya to photograph lions and tigers.


Remind, Remember, Recall

Remind and remember are not the same. If you remind somebody about something, you make them remember it. Compare the following:

Remind me to send Tony an email about the change of dates.

When you say that somebody or something reminds you of something, you associate it with a memory from your past;

She reminds me of the Princess royal. They are so alike in books and bearing.

If you remember something, you recall people or events to your mind. Compare the following:

Do you remember the first time we sat under the stars, listening to Beethoven’s Ninth?

When you recall something, you remember it and tell others about it:

The Prime Minister recalled his visits to France and the six meetings he had with the French President.

If you recollect something, you remember it and usually talk about it. There is little difference between recollect and recall in this context.

She recollected / recalled that she had been living in Paris when Picasso and Matisse were both working there.


Tell or ask?

Many experts argue that, ask is more polite as asking for something is the same as requesting it, whereas telling someone to do something is the same as instructing or ordering them. Compare the examples given below:

Why don’t you come round at about eight for a bite to eat?

~ I told them to come around at eight for something to eat.
~ I asked them to come around at eight for something to eat

But sometimes we need to use tell when the meaning is more explicitly instruct and ask when the meaning is more explicitly request. Compare the following:

Be careful not to dive too close to the rocks.
~ I told them not to dive too close to the rocks.
Don’t drink water from the stream. It’s polluted.
~ I told her not to drink water from the stream. It’s not clean.
Can you show me how to operate this computer?
~ I asked her to show me how to operate the office computer.
Would you let me know when tony arrives?
~ I’ve asked him to let me know when Tony arrives.