English as a Second Language/infinitive vs v-ing form

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QUESTION: Hello again, Amy.

Many thanks for your help in the past.

The followings are copied from "Collins":

A few verbs have different patterns for different meanings. If you remember to do something, you do not forget to do it, and if you remember doing something you still have a memory of it.

The verb forget is similar, if you forget to do something, you do not remember to do it, and if you have forgotten doing something, you no longer have a memory of it.
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Would be obliged if you could give me some examples explaining the meaning of "if you have forgotten doing something, you no longer have a memory of it."

Don't say "She forgot locking her lock" (Collins)

Why is the above sentence not correct?

Best Regards,
CH

ANSWER: Hello CH,

not sure what or who "Collins" is - I imagine it's an ESL book though (perhaps one I am not familiar with as there are so many on the market...this is irrelevant though).

Here is a link to the definitions of "to forget" according to the Merriam Websters dictionary:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/forget

I am a bit confused about the "definition" of "to forget" you are inquiring about:

"If you forget to do something, you do not remember to do it, and if you have forgotten doing something, you no longer have a memory of it."

Is it possible that the above quote is actually an example of how to use "to forget" in a sentence?

Please get back to me with more details on this as I am unsure of how to help you here.

Best,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Amy

Here are the examples quoted from "Collins Common Errors in English":

Remember to do or remember doing?

Remember to lock the door.
(Not)Remember locking the door.

Do you remember meeting Joe?
(Not)Do you remember to meet Joe?

A few verbs have different patterns for different meanings. If you remember to do something, you do not forget to do it, and if you remember doing something you still have a memory of it.

There are no examples of how to use "to forget" in the book.

The verb forget is similar, if you forget to do something, you do not remember to do it, and if you have forgotten doing something, you no longer have a memory of it.
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The followings are quoted from "Oxford Practice Grammar-John Eastwood"
(I think I have no difficulty to understand the meaning)

With some verbs, the choice of a to-infinitive or an
ing-form depends on the meaning

A Remember and forget

I must remember to post this letter today. It's important.

The clothes are still dirty because I forgot to switch on the machine.

We use remember/forget to do for necessary actions. The remembering is before the action.

I can remember posting the letter. I posted it on Friday morning.

I'll never forget flying over the Grand Canyon. It was wonderful.

We use remember/forget doing for memories of the past. The action is before the remembering.

ANSWER: OK CH,

thanks for clarifying things for me.

I believe the book doesn't necessarily have to do with the verbs to remember and to forget, but with the proper use of the infinitive vs the -ing form of the verb after them.

There is a difference between "forget to do" and "forget doing", just like there are differences between "remember to do" and "remember doing".

* Forget + to do (or infinitive) is the most common form/usage of the verb,

For ex:
I forgot to turn off the oven and as a result the cake was burnt.
I forgot to take my vitamins yesterday.
My friend forgot to feed her cat this morning.
Don’t forget to thank her when you see her after school.

Here “forget to do” means I/you/she didn't do it because it slipped my/your/her mind.

* Forget + doing (or infinitive) means that you have done something, but have forgotten about doing it.

For ex:
My friend forgot feeding her cat, so she fed her twice, instead of only once – meaning she did not recall feeding the cat, despite actually feeding her.

I forgot buying bread, so I bought two loaves. – meaning I didn’t recall buying bread, despite actually buying it.

* Also, you can use this in a negative sentence, with the intent of describing something you will always remember

I shall never forget swimming in the ocean for the first time.
I can’t forget visiting the Taj Mahal three years ago.

The meaning, in both cases, is that the experience left a strong mark in my mind, and I’ll always remember that.

* There is also this instance:

Forget bringing your computer to school, the new rules won’t allow that anymore.
Forget about going to the beach, it’s going to rain tomorrow.

In these cases “forget” means – you should not consider doing this anymore,

* Lastly, here is another example:

I will never forget to lock my car.

This is a promise to lock my car in the future, meaning that every time I get out of the car I will remember to lock it.

I will never forget locking my car.

This means that I have only locked my car once in the past and it was a very memorable experience for me, one that – for some reason - I haven’t been able to forget to this day.

I hope this answer your question.

Looking forward to more of your questions.

Best regards,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Amy.

Thank you for your detailed explanation and excellent examples. One thing I would like to clarify as follows:

1.  Forget + doing (or infinitive) means that you have done something, but have forgotten about doing it.

2. Forget + doing (not infinitive) means that you have done something, but have forgotten about doing it.

Which of the above sentences is correct?

Have a good weekend.

Best regards,
CH

Answer
CH,

I just realized there was a mistake in my previous answer so I fixed it. You should received an email with the correction.

To clarify things:

Forget + doing means that you have done something, but have forgotten about doing it.

For ex:

I forgot answering to your email, so I emailed you twice.

She forgot seeing the movie and she rented it again.

My dad forgot watering the flowers, so yesterday he watered them twice.

I hope this clarifies the issue.

Have a great weekend.

English as a Second Language

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