Question: What’s your earliest memory?

Think back to the earliest thing you can remember: Where were you? What were your surroundings like? What do you remember most about the situation? Were you doing anything? Did you see, smell, taste, hear, feel anything? How did you feel about yourself and the world around you? Can you estimate approximately how old you were at the time? Come share your earliest memory with the other readers and me.

Note the difference between state and action verbs:

  • it looked/ seemed; I saw/ heard/ smelled/ felt: state verbs and verbs describing your perceptions are used in the past simple
  • I was looking at/ was listening to/ was trying out/ was holding/ was sitting; the sun was shining: action verbs can be used in the past progressive when you describe what you were doing/ what was going on in a given situation

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Trainer/ coach from Washington, D.C. based in Berlin. Enthusiastic gardener, sailor, reader.

5 thoughts on “Question: What’s your earliest memory?”

  1. My first memory is of my mother screaming and running towards me in a panic… I had crawled towards the sea and was totally fine padding about in the sand and water, however when she screamed I got scared and then almost drowned.

    I think I was two or three and don’t remember much of the details but I still remember her face.


  2. It’s not the earliest memory, but a memory, where I first got aware of danger after the situation because of the reaction of my mother. Here it is:

    One day, my father was not at home and my mother had to go to the hospital in another town, because my brother injured himself. We lived in a very big house whith a flat roof. My neighbour, which was about three or four years old, had been visiting me and we decided to go onto the roof. As my my mother came back seeing us playing on the roof, she got very angry and anxious about our lives, because there was no railing on the roof and we had been in danger falling down from the roof, which was about 10 meters high. Because of the reaction of my mother and her screaming in a way, I heard for the first time, I was realizing the danger in which we had been.

  3. Well, mothers obviously have to yell at their children from time to time. After all, children are natural adventurers … and that’s the way it should be, right?

  4. It is difficult to separate memories from the photos we see or the stories that other people tell us.
    And our memories are selective, i have tried very hard to forget some things and maybe even harder to remember others.
    AND people disagree about memory, my sister has NO recollection of eating my chosen biscuit from a plate on my birthday, whereas i can (and do) tell her the colour, the image, where it came from and how my mother and i had to return to the shops to buy another one.
    I THINK i have a memory of being in a pram in a greenhouse but no way to confirm it as the parents involved are not here.
    There was a greenhouse, there is a photo of me in a pram so i don’t really know.
    However can i remember what i decided to do 5 minutes ago before writing this?

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