Could you tell me the difference between these three sentences:
(1) I always remembered his smile.
(2) I always remembered his smile on his face.
(3) I always remembered the smile on his face.

  • 2
    Where did you find these examples? The second one does not seem like something a native speaker would say.
    – The Photon
    Jan 7, 2015 at 17:39
  • 5
    "The" smile on his face sounds more natural. Using "his" twice seems redundant.
    – mc01
    Jan 7, 2015 at 17:40
  • In the first he's remembering his smile. In the second he's remembering the smile on his face In other words the first remembers the smile all by itself. The second remembers the whole face "lit up" by his smile.
    – Jim
    Jan 7, 2015 at 17:41
  • You gotta admit, two "his" make the sentence a bit clumsy.
    – M.A.R.
    Jan 7, 2015 at 19:43

1 Answer 1


It sounds as if the speaker is fondly thinking of times past and talking about a person who is no longer with them.

There is no context, so I may be incorrect to assume this, but I think "I will" combined with a present tense "remember" would likely be more natural. If you are writing this sentence, then you are currently remembering. I find that "Remembered" is hard to use naturally outside of "I just remembered" or "I want to be remembered".

1: His smile

I always remembered his smile.

I'll always remember his smile.

This sentence means that when you think of him, you think of those moments when he smiles at you.

2: Smile on his face

I always remembered the smile on his face.

I'll always remember the smile on his face.

This sentence is more about remembering a person as being a happy person who smiles a lot. His face is being characterized as having a smile.

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