Someone asked a question on a forum and my reply to that question started with:

Your question reminded me of a similar thread on this forum.

Before posting this I was debating between reminds and reminded, then I used the latter because I thought reminds did not make grammatical sense in that context, however, after posting it I thought I probably used the wrong verb altogether.

Since reminds is in present tense, it should be talking about a habitual event, so I did not choose it.
In addition, this reminds me of seems to me to have the connotation of: "this makes me remember something/someone important to me, something of sentimental value, something/someone I agree or disagree with, something I have an opinion about... which was in the back of my mind for a long time".

I did some research and found examples which seem to agree with my understanding:

  • This reminds me of the whole sort of self-esteem generational thing where everybody gets a trophy cuz we're all winners, there's no competition, there's no winning and losing.
  • This reminds me of the poem by the great Irish poet W.B. Yeats, where the best lack all conviction, and the worst are full of passionate intensity.

I also think that the past form reminded me of does not fit in my sentence either because to me it seems to have the same connotation as the present form's except that the remembered thing/person here is probably unique and unlikely to be met with/happen again and I think this is why the past tense is used here and not the present tense.

  • They reminded me of myself 20 years ago.

  • It reminded me of how Alice Walker distinguishes womanist from a feminist. You know, if you've heard the quote where she says, "A womanist is to a feminist, "as purple is to lavender."

  • In many ways, he reminded me of some other giants of the 20th century that I've had the honor to meet -- men like Nelson Mandela; women like Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth.

Coincidentally enough, I got a comment on a previous question in which the commenter used the phrase this made me think of which I think is what I should have used in my reply.

I have also heard I'm reminded of which seems to me to be the formal equivalent of all of the mentioned above.

  • I'm reminded of an article you wrote five years ago.

  • I'm reminded of a song.

  • I'm reminded of that every time I walk past those fields.

I would love to get some insights from native speakers on this because I could be overanalyzing things here.

Edit: Although this might be a very simple question, I am a little confused about the use of this reminded me of X.

Does this mean:
1)At some point in the past, this made me remember X.
2)What you have just said made me remember X?

And if I would like to imply the second, why cannot I say:
This has reminded me of X. [very few examples online]
This has made me remember X. [not even one example]?

  • 3
    You are overanalysing. It's perfectly natural to use reminded me of to mean made me think of. Commented May 12, 2021 at 7:46
  • 1
    Your question reminds me [now]of other questions that seem rather simple. Your question reminded me [when I read it. past tense] of other questions that seem rather simple.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 23:30

1 Answer 1


"This reminded me of X" means, this made me think of X, once, in the past. The sentence is mostly about that event. Maybe it made you decide to send the person an email, or took a picture. "This reminds me of X" is more a statement about whatever "This" is.

You might say "your comment reminds me of something Einstein said when he was in college," implying you think the speaker is a genius. Whereas, "your comment reminded me of something Einstein said while he was in college," which more likely means you gave the speaker a good research lead. But, the usages are very similar. In most cases you can switch "reminds" and "reminded" without confusing anyone. Because, usually, something that reminded you of something in the past, still reminds you of it now.

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