The verbs of remembering and recalling take either and accusative or a genitive.
- With the accusative, they describe a sort of physical possession of some object within the mind or memory.
- With the genitive, they describe a mindful or contemplative state with respect to some object.
- I remember Sulla killing the man: Sullam quattuor hominēs interficere meminī.
- He thought fondly of Sulla: Sullae benē meminerat.
- She remembers her own dog, but not her neighbor’s dog: suum canem meminit, set nōn sui vicinī canem.
- She was mindful of her own business: suae meminerat.
Recall that meminī is a perfect with present sense (denoted a perfected state), and pluperfect with perfect (past) sense.
- Personal pronouns (meī, tuī, suī, nostrī) are generally in the genitive.
- Neuter pronouns (illum, istum, hōc) are generally in the accusative.
Some other common verbs of remembering:
- revocō, revocāre, revocāvī, revocātum
- memorō, memorāre, memorāvī, memorātum (sic. commemorō, etc.)
- teneō, tenēre, tenuī, tentum
(I can’t confirm this, but I get the sense that teneō would only take the accusative, and not the airier ‘remembering state’ wit hthe genitive. I feel this is true because it’s more directly attached to physical possession than the other verbs.)
Reminīscor, reminīscī, – is a rare alternative, though it takes the same two options: accusative for physical possession of memory, or gentive of a mindful state.
Recordor, recordārī, recordātus sum usually takes the accusative, though may take dē + ablative.
- I am reminded of their tears: dē suōrum lacrimīs recordor.
The Essential AG: 350a-d