Se souvenir de, se rappeler (de) = To remember

Look at these sentences:

Tu te souviens de ton professeur de maths? 
Do you remember your math teacher?

Tu te rappelles ton professeur de maths?
Do you remember your math teacher?

Je me souviens de cet été merveilleux.
I remember this wonderful summer.

Je me rappelle cet été merveilleux.
I remember this wonderful summer.

Tu te souviens de moi ?
Do you remember me?

Je me rappelle le premier cadeau que tu m'as fait.
I remember the first gift you gave me.

 

To express remembering in French, there are two main phrases you can use:

- Se souvenir de <quelque chose>  which is the slightly more sophisticated option.
Here you can never omit the de.

Note also that when de is followed by le or les, you will use the contracted forms du or des, and that de un and de une will become d'un and d'une:

Je me souviens du premier cadeau que tu m'as fait.
I remember the first gift you gave me.

Tu te souviens des frères Jackson ?
Do you remember the Jackson Brothers?

Je me souviens d'une nuit pluvieuse, où tu es venu me voir.
I remember a rainy night, when you came to see me.

 

Se rappeler (x) <quelque chose>

Colloquially, it's perfectly correct to use se rappeler de <> as well as se rappeler <> :

Tu te rappelles de ton professeur de maths?
Do you remember your math teacher?

Je me rappelle de cet été merveilleux.
I remember this wonderful summer.

Elle se rappelle de ce garçon.
She remembers this boy.

ATTENTION:
In cases with stress pronouns (to remember me, you, him...), just like you'd use se souvenir de, you will use se rappeler DE <moi, toi, lui, elle, nous, vous, eux, elles> (literally "I remember of"):

Tu te rappelles de moi ?
Do you remember me?

Je me rappelle de lui.
I remember him.

Note: you can never say Tu te rappelles moi.

See also how to conjugate rappeler Conjugate -eter and -eler verbs in Le Présent - main rule (ll / tt)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Je me rappelle de lui.
I remember him.


Je me rappelle le premier cadeau que tu m'as fait.
I remember the first gift you gave me.


Je me rappelle cet été merveilleux.
I remember this wonderful summer.


Tu te rappelles de ton professeur de maths?
Do you remember your math teacher?


Elle se rappelle de ce garçon.
She remembers this boy.


Je me souviens d'une nuit pluvieuse, où tu es venu me voir.
I remember a rainy night, when you came to see me.


Je me souviens de cet été merveilleux.
I remember this wonderful summer.


Tu te souviens de ton professeur de maths? 
Do you remember your math teacher?


Elle se rappelle ce garçon.
She remembers this boy.


Tu te souviens des frères Jackson ?
Do you remember the Jackson Brothers?


Tu te rappelles de moi ?
Do you remember me?


Elle se souvient de ce garçon.
She remembers this boy.


Je me souviens du premier cadeau que tu m'as fait.
I remember the first gift you gave me.


Tu te souviens de moi ?
Do you remember me?


Je me rappelle de cet été merveilleux.
I remember this wonderful summer.


Tu te rappelles ton professeur de maths?
Do you remember your math teacher?


Q&A Forum 6 questions, 15 answers

SaraB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

se rappeler de vs. se rappeler

In an exam, would either of those be regarded as more grammatically correct/the preferred answer?

Asked 6 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Sara,

It is correct that se rappeler doesn't need a 'de' after it, unlike se souvenir de. 

However, ( and after checking with teachers living in France) in everyday speech, you will hear this "mistake" made by French speakers all the time,  hence the reminder from 'le Figaro'.

e.g.

Je ne me rappelle  pas (de) son nom = I don't remember his name

Ils se rappelaient bien (de) ces vacances en Australie = They remembered that holiday in Australia well

I would avoid it in an exam when you can be penalised for the slightest mistake, but in my opinion, if you can attain a level where you make the mistakes French people make you are doing very well.

Some purists will not agree with me of course!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

They are both correct.

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Surely se rappeler de is colloquial and should be avoided in an exam?

(Except, apparently, when followed by the infinitive of a verb, when it is accepted as correct.)

http://www.lefigaro.fr/langue-francaise/dictee/2017/03/25/37005-20170325ARTFIG00004-se-rappeler-de-ne-faites-plus-la-faute.php

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

There are instances where rappeler requires de:

Sean me rappelle de lui. -- Sean reminds me of him.

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

OK, but apart from those exceptions, se rappeler de should be avoided. They are not "both correct".

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Well, se rappeler de isn't wrong either. It is correct, when used correctly. Like most things in life. :)

SaraB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hi Chris & Alan, thank you both very much for your input! Alan: how resourceful of you to have found that link, thank you for your time. 

Seems like this is still somewhat unresolved/ambiguous - any chance of an opinion from a mod? Maybe Aurélie? 

Many thanks

se rappeler de vs. se rappeler

In an exam, would either of those be regarded as more grammatically correct/the preferred answer?

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William C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Vous vous rappelez (des) îles Cyclades.

The question is "Vous vous souvenez des îles Cyclades. = Vous ________ îles Cyclades.  You remember the Cyclades islands. I answered 'Vous vous rappelez îles Cyclades" but was marked wrong. I thought "de" was optional.
Asked 8 months ago
William C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributorCorrect answer

Hi !

Je comprends maintenant pourquoi il faut inclure "des" dans cet exemple.

 

Pardon !

Vous vous rappelez (des) îles Cyclades.

The question is "Vous vous souvenez des îles Cyclades. = Vous ________ îles Cyclades.  You remember the Cyclades islands. I answered 'Vous vous rappelez îles Cyclades" but was marked wrong. I thought "de" was optional.

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AliC1Kwiziq community member

Why is"Nous NE souvenons de notre dernier concert"? Surely "nous NOUS souvenons de... is correct?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer
You are missing the second "nous" (the reflexive pronoun) as well as "pas" for the negation:

Nous ne nous souvenons pas de notre dernier concert.

Or, in the positive form (as you have correctly surmised):

Nous nous souvenons de notre dernier concert.

I hope that helps, -- Chris (not a native speaker).
AliC1Kwiziq community member
The question was "Nous nous rappelons de notre dernier concert. = Nous ________ notre dernier concert. (We remember our last concert.)" This, didn't seem to really explain what I needed to do, but I answered "Nous nous souvenons de notre dernier concert". YOUR answer said "no", it should be "Nous NE souvenons de notre dernier concert"! Can you now see why I was so confused?!
AliC1Kwiziq community member
Please excuse my madness! Yes, I can see I did make a typo....humble pie! So sorry!

Why is"Nous NE souvenons de notre dernier concert"? Surely "nous NOUS souvenons de... is correct?

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AurélieKwiziq team member

Paul asked: "Can you please explain why "Je me rappelle le Québec." is correct ?

What are the ways of saying ''I remember Québec.'' ? Je me rappelle du Québec. / Je me souviens du Québec. / Je me rappelle le Québec.
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Paul ! Great question indeed! The answer is linked to the fact that in French, countries are always used with definite articles: "J'aime la France." - I love France. See also our related lesson: Using le, la, l', les with continents, countries & regions names (definite articles) Therefore here, you will use either the contracted "du" (de+le) after "se souvenir" or "se rappeler", but you can also omit the "de" with "se rappeler", in which case you're left with "le". I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

Paul asked: "Can you please explain why "Je me rappelle le Québec." is correct ?

What are the ways of saying ''I remember Québec.'' ? Je me rappelle du Québec. / Je me souviens du Québec. / Je me rappelle le Québec.

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MaryA2Kwiziq community member

. .

In the examples at the top of the page you say Je me souviens le premier cadeau que tu m'as fait. But in the explanation following it says Je me souviens du premier cadeau que tu m'as fait.
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Mary ! Yes, indeed, this is a mistake! The example should say "Je me rappelle le premier cadeau...", as you ALWAYS need "de" with "se souvenir". It's now been fixed! Merci beaucoup et à bientôt !
MichaelC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Trois réponses correctes: 1. "Je me rappelle le premier cadeau..." 2. "Je me rappelle du premier cadeau..." 3. "Je me souviens du premier cadeau..."

. .

In the examples at the top of the page you say Je me souviens le premier cadeau que tu m'as fait. But in the explanation following it says Je me souviens du premier cadeau que tu m'as fait.

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DianeC1Kwiziq community member

so why is it Vous vous souvenez du chemin, et pas de chemin?

Asked 4 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Diane, In English, we say "you remember the way" - note the article "the." In French, you need that article as well: "vous vous souvenez du chemin" - "du" is the contraction of "de" + "le."

so why is it Vous vous souvenez du chemin, et pas de chemin?

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Getting that for you now.