I'm wondering if "I reminded myself that..." is correct expression in English and if English speakers use such expression at all or if this is replaced by something else.

Let's take this dialogue as an example:

  • A: How many apples did you buy?
  • B: Ten... no, wait, I reminded myself that I bought five more on the way home.

Google Translate and other suggestions:

  • "I was reminded of..." (but this sounds like someone else reminded me that)
  • "I just recalled that I bought" (this sounds nice as well)

Which one would be the most natural one?

  • I was reminded... does not imply that anyone else is reminding you. It simply means you had forgotten, but now you remember. Usually, to say someone else reminded you, you would say, I was reminded by X of... or I was reminded of...by X.
    – p.s.w.g
    Jul 3, 2013 at 17:40

2 Answers 2


Reminding is an act that usually involves saying or doing something. So when your wife reminds you to buy apples, she says something like: Don't forget to buy apples, or she writes you a note.

It is certainly also possible to remind yourself. For example, if you were on your way home and you suddenly thought, I must buy apples when I get off the train, then you could tell your wife later: I reminded myself that I needed to buy apples.

However, the expression does not make sense in your dialogue, because at the time of answering your wife, you are not saying or doing something to make you think of buying apples, you are simply remembering buying them. So, you need to say:

Ten ... no, wait, I now remember/recall that I bought five more on the way home.

  • Thanks! It's almost all I needed. It's a bit different than in my native language so it's not as easy to understand this subtle difference for me. So would the sentence Ten ... no, wait, I JUST remembered/recalled (myself) that I bought five more on the way home. be correct? I'm assuming that at the time of speaking this sentence I'm convinced that I bought 10 apples but after a second I want to correct myself by saying "it crossed my mind at this very moment that later on I bought 5 more". And I want to mention that "it crossed my mind now" instead of saying just "10... no, wait 15".
    – Paul
    Jul 3, 2013 at 18:29
  • @Paul. Your alternative suggestion, Ten ... no, wait, I JUST remembered/recalled (myself) that I bought five more on the way home, is not quite right. It needs to be in the present perfect not the past simple: Ten ... no, wait, I've just remembered that I bought five more on the way home. Note that you should not use myself with remember. Also, the expression I've just recalled that I bought ... sounds rather odd to me, but I need a bit of time to ponder why this should be.
    – Shoe
    Jul 3, 2013 at 19:12

Isn't Polish your mother tongue by chance? ;)

A different situation to consider. You're driving to work in the morning, you're thinking about different things and then, bam!, you realize you'd left the iron on. You couldn't say then, "I reminded myself I'd left the iron on." You say, "I remembered I'd left the iron on."

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