Many words in English are commonly confused by both those learning the language and native speakers alike. Two such words are “collect” and “recollect”. These words are commonly confused due to their similar sounds. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the difference between “collect” and “recollect” and how to use them correctly in a sentence when speaking or writing.
Check out other easily confused words in English by visiting this page. Teachers and students can download this guide as a PDF file using the link at the bottom of the page.
“Collect” is a verb which means to gather things together, often for a specific purpose. It’s an action that involves physically bringing things together or obtaining things over time. “Collect” is often used in reference to objects, data, or information.
How to use “collect” in a sentence:
- He collects antique coins from around the world.
- The delivery truck will collect the package later today.
- The company collects data on customer satisfaction.
- She has been collecting information on the company’s financial performance.
- The teacher asked the students to collect their books and line up at the door.
- The museum is collecting donations for a new exhibit.
“Recollect” is a verb which means to remember something that has been forgotten or to bring something back to mind. It’s an action that happens within the individual. “Recollect” is often used to describe the ability to recall specific details, events, or facts.
How to use “recollect” in a sentence:
- The witness struggled to recollect which way he had walked home that night.
- She struggled to recollect the name of the movie she watched last week.
- He recollected the details of the conversation they had last night.
- I am trying to recollect what happened during the meeting.
- She was able to recollect the events of her childhood with clarity.
- He recollected the lyrics of his favourite song from childhood.
Why are “collect” and “recollect” commonly confused?
Collect” and “recollect” are two words that have distinct meanings. They are often confused as they have similar pronunciations. Spanish speakers especially may make this mistake as “collect” in Spanish is “recolectar”.
collect – a verb which means to gather things together or obtaining things over time
recollect – a verb which means to remember something that has been forgotten or bring something back to mind
Do you know the difference between “collect” and “recollect”?
Fill in the blanks in the following activity with the correct form of the word (“collect” or “recollect”):
- She loves to ___________ seashells on the beach.
- I couldn’t ___________ the name of the book I wanted to read.
- The company plans to ___________ data on customer satisfaction.
- He ___________ the details of the conversation they had last week.
- We need to ___________ enough donations to support the charity event.
- She ___________ a variety of plants in her garden.
- He struggled to ___________ the events of the previous night.
- The art museum ___________ works from famous artists around the world.
- I can ___________ the taste of that delicious cake from my childhood.
- She enjoys ___________ antique furniture and decorative items.
Answers: 1. collect, 2. recollect, 3. collect, 4. recollected, 5. collect, 6. collects, 7. recollect, 8. collects, 9. recollect, 10. collecting