When using the verb "to note" in the sense of "to write down", for example,

Note that down so you will remember it

is the down necessary or not? Does

Note that so you will remember it

also have the meaning of writing something down (aside from the other meaning of "to note")? To me, the second variant seems to be a false friend often used by German speakers, because in German the corresponding expression is "sich etwas notieren".

The reason why I am not sure is that the OALD mentions the phrasal verb "to note something down", but Merriam-Webster also includes "to say or write something" as a possible meaning of "to note".


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    Nota Bene ;-) Either will work. More colloquial still would be 'jot' which will also take either form. Not that it's totally correct without 'it down' but it wouldn't raise any eyebrows. Nov 15, 2014 at 19:00
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    In your context, down is superfluous, and wouldn't usually be included. But actually, it's more likely you'd be told to "Make a note of that so you'll remember it". Remember that to note usually means take notice of, not write a note. Nov 15, 2014 at 19:33
  • @FumbleFingers Agreed, but "make a note of" is quite lengthy, so I guess a shorter form is desirable for colloquial use. What about "Note that (down) in your calender"? Can "down" also be left out in that case? Nov 15, 2014 at 19:36
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    @painfulenglish: I see no reason why "colloquial use" should favour a shorter form. To repeat - using plain "note" (or the less common "note down") is potentially awkward because it's more strongly associated with paying attention, not writing notes for later reference. Nov 15, 2014 at 19:40
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    And exactly the thrust of my comments is "Forget about using to note to mean to write notes. It's likely to be confusing/ambiguous, and has no obvious benefit in most contexts"*. Nov 15, 2014 at 19:43

2 Answers 2


previous answers/comments notwithstanding
a new take on the two forms...

Note that down so you will remember it

Write it down so you can refer to it later.

Note that so you will remember it

Just remember it.

The shading is subtle & not absolute.


I noted that she left the meeting early.

This probably just means that I saw her leave early and decided that this was significant. I may have thought this information would be useful in the future. It could mean that I wrote it down, but we would only think this if the person I was talking to already knew that I was writing things.

I noted down that she left the meeting early.

This definitely means that I wrote it. I didn't just think it.

So if it isn't already clear to your listener that you were writing, you will need to use down - if that is what you want to show.

Hope this is helpful!

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    Did you intend to include "down" in the second version? Nov 15, 2014 at 19:41

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