How to remember in Spanish acordarse vs recordar

Acordar, acordarse and recordar

Sometimes it’s difficult to know the difference between the verbs acordar, acordarse and recordar so I hope that this short lesson will help.


Acordar = to agree

No estoy de acuerdo.    I don’t agree.


Acordarse (de) = to recall, remember

¿Te acuerdas de ella?   Do you remember her?

NB:  with acordarse you need to use ‘de’ before the thing remembered.


Recordar (a) = to remember or to be reminded of

Me recuerdas a mi mejor amiga.   You remind me of my best friend.

Ese olor me recuerda a España.    That smell reminds me of Spain.

NB:  with recordar you need to use ‘a’ before the thing remembered.


When it comes to expressing ‘remembering’, although the difference between acordarse and recordar is not that huge and they can often be used synonymously, you can sometimes employ a nuance of difference and if you think of acordarse being the equivalent of recalling (less effort) and recordar being the equivalent of remembering (implying effort) then you will likely use both verbs very well.


Recordar is also handy because it can be used to mean ‘to remind’ as well.

Recuérdame comprar alimento para las gallinas.

Remind me to buy chicken feed.


Here are some sentences to help you practice:

I remember the day you were born.

Me acuerdo del día en que naciste.

Recuerdo al día en que naciste.

Try to remember exactly what happened before you passed out.

Trata de recordar exactamente lo que pasó antes de quedar inconsciente..  (effort)

As far as I can remember ….

Desde que me acuerdo …

I’m trying to remember how (to) …

Estoy intentando recordar cómo …

Estoy intentando acordarme de cómo …

I don’t remember anything.

No me acuerdo de nada.  (in many places this would be the preferred translation)
No recuerdo nada.

I don’t know if you remember me …

No sé si usted me recuerda …

Now I remember him!

Ahora lo recuerdo.

Of course I remember you.

¡Claro que me acuerdo de ti!

¡Por supuesto que me acuerdo de ti!