Many non-native speakers says:

Someone has a good / bad memory power.


Someone has a good / bad memory.

Which is more appropriate to native speakers?

  • Could you re-phrase that to speak from specific knowledge or experience? When have you heard anyone say: "Someone has (a) good / bad memory power"? How often have you heard that? Jun 22, 2022 at 23:55

2 Answers 2


"Memory" is, by definition, a kind of "power", at least in the sense of "ability":

memory (n): The faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information.

"Memory power" is therefore redundant and not normally idiomatic:

He has a good memory for faces

If you want to use the word "power" then the "power of recollection" would be fine (often used in the plural):

He has amazing powers of recollection when it comes to the details of his childhood.

  • Andrew, much of that is true and this isn't about fine details… it's about English Language Learners. Why would you want to confuse ELL with details such as you Posted? Why not help people? Jun 22, 2022 at 23:58
  • I do not regard what Andrew posted as the least bit unhelpful. I thought he gave an excellent response, and I do not see why you think it would confuse learners. Jun 23, 2022 at 23:32

To native speakers of British, Australian or US American English, "memory…" would be appropriate… never "memory power…". I venture no view on speakers from other regions.

"Power of memory" might work and in 60 years of listening, I've never once noticed "memory power" in speech or writing.

Since you mentioned it, where does "Many non-native speakers says: 'Someone has a good / bad memory power' " come from, please? Which non-native speakers do you have in mind?

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