When we recall something, we remember it and then communicate it to other people. There is a little subtle difference though. We don’t say ‘I recall somebody or someone’. For people, we normally use remember. E.g. I met Robert but I don’t remember him very well… or I remember Peter. Not…I recall Robert…or I recollect Peter.
Normally, we recollect or recall events or situations surrounding an event that we communicate to someone now. Sometimes this involves people at these events or in certain situations and we often use “I seem to, as far as I can…and I distinctly recall” to add some flavour to how well we remember something. In fact, you can almost think of recalling or recollecting as exactly that, an extra effort to remember and add detail to something.
- I seem to recall telling you that the invoice was paid last month. (25-40% sure)
- As far as I can recall, the invoice was paid a month ago(50% sure).
- I distinctly recall that the invoice was paid a month ago(75-100% sure).
Although remember is possible in place of recall in the sentences above it sounds nicer because we are making an extra effort to remember something particular. When we recollect something, it is a bit like ‘reflecting on or upon something’ and is often followed by a story. Think of your music collection. What were you doing at the time when you bought each CD? What do you recollect? Now you can tell an interesting story about how music influenced you at the time and what you recollect (i.e. your collection of memories).
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