Is It Correct to Say “A Gentle Reminder”?

There are many phrases in the English language that are said without too much thought being put into them. Once you start thinking about it though, you can’t help but ask yourself whether or not you’ve been incorrect in saying something all this time. Is it correct to say “a gentle reminder”?

In this post, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about this phrase, including whether or not it is correct and why.

Is It Correct to Say “A Gentle Reminder”?

The phrase “a gentle reminder” is grammatically correct. It was once used ironically. In modern English the phrase is used more in “gentle reminder email”. This is often sent by an employer to employees to politely remind them of certain information that they need to act on.

is it correct to say a gentle reminder

The phrase “a gentle reminder” is not new. It’s been a part of correct English for hundreds of years. But mostly, the phrase was used humorously in the past. You could bet that most “gentle reminders” were not gentle at all.

Nowadays, the phrase is mostly attached to the notion of “gentle reminder emails”. The idea is to “gently” and politely prod someone to either carry out a task or change their behavior without being combative.

“A gentle reminder” is generally used as means to let someone know that there is something they have forgotten, but you aren’t trying to be aggressive about it. To your boss, this might be seen as a way to try and keep employees on task without coming across as a harsh taskmaster.

You can still use this phrase in regular speech, as it functions the same way. You could use it literally or ironically.

Refer to these examples of how to use “a gentle reminder” in a sentence:

  • This is a gentle reminder that we need to focus on work instead of chatting.
  • A gentle reminder, Bobby; you’re easily replaceable in the eyes of the company.
  • I think you need a gentle reminder about not picking on other kids, Hannah.
  • Hey guys, just a gentle reminder that no one is off work this Christmas.

Now, we’ve covered that it is correct to use “a gentle reminder.” But if you aren’t comfortable using this phrase, we’ve gathered some other ways to say “a gentle reminder.”

Other Ways to Say “A Gentle Reminder”

Other ways to say “a gentle reminder” are “just a reminder, just a suggestion”, and “please remember”. These phrases all get the same intent across; to remind someone of something without being aggressive or overbearing about it. They are all generally seen as polite options.

There are other alternatives, but we’ll go over all of them down below.

Just a Reminder

The word “just” is often used to imply that something isn’t a big deal (as in “oh, it’s just an ant”). This makes the act of reminding someone seem less like you are upset or irritated with them, and that you are “just” gently reminding them of something. That makes it a perfect synonym phrase.

Some examples of how “just a reminder” can be used in a sentence can be found below:

  • This is just a reminder that your assignment is due tomorrow.
  • Just a reminder, everyone, we need to deliver these packages today.

Just a Suggestion

This synonym is very similar to “just a reminder”, as the only difference is replacing “reminder” with “suggestion”. These words don’t have the exact same meaning but they do get the same message across. “Just a suggestion” can be used to prod people without being too blunt about it.

Here are some examples of how to use “just a suggestion in a sentence:

  • Just a suggestion, but you should probably write that report the boss wanted.
  • This is just a suggestion, but I think we need to stay focused on the assignment.

Please Remember

A reminder is just a way to ask someone to remember something they should be doing, so you can easily just get very little with it and say “please remember”. This is still a very polite way to nudge someone towards something they should be doing, making it a good synonym for “a gentle reminder”.

You can find some examples of how to use “please remember” in a sentence down below:

  • Please remember that we’re on a tight schedule and need to get our work done.
  • Wendy, please remember that you can’t do someone’s homework for them.

A Little Reminder

Generally speaking, when something is identified as “little”, it isn’t considered a big deal. So defining a reminder as “little” makes it seem less overbearing, which is the whole point of a phrase like “gentle reminder”. This makes is a good synonym phrase to use instead.

You can find some examples of how to use “a little reminder” in the sentences below:

  • A little reminder, everyone; you have to focus on work during class.
  • This is just a little reminder, but please don’t leave the refrigerator door open.

Please Don’t Forget

The point of a reminder is to ensure that people don’t forget things. So, it’s a pretty straightforward synonym to say “please don’t forget” instead of “a gentle reminder.” It is still considered very polite and generally wouldn’t be seen as aggressive or overbearing by many people.

Below are some examples of how to use “please don’t forget” in a sentence:

  • Please don’t forget to read the assigned book over the summer.
  • Honey, please don’t forget that you have to pick up our son from practice.

A Quick Reminder

While this phrase may not be quite as polite as some of the other alternatives, designating something as “quick” is often seen as a way to frame its importance as not being too serious. Therefore, this phrase still works well if you want to replace “a gentle reminder” with it. Most people will view it in the same light.

Refer to the examples below to see how you can use “a quick reminder” in a sentence:

  • This is just a quick reminder that everyone will need to clock in an hour early tomorrow.
  • Just a quick reminder, fellas; you must be on lunch break to eat, not working your shift.

Just Remember

This synonym phrase has the same message as “a gentle reminder”. It’s a way to remind people of something without seeming too forceful about it. Still, some may consider “just remember” as being less polite than some of the other options.

Below are some examples of how to use “just remember” in a sentence:

  • Just remember, you have to follow the rules around here just like everyone else.
  • Just remember, I need that report on my desk by Monday morning.

Keep in Mind

A somewhat more formal way to say “a gentle reminder”, you probably won’t see “keep in mind” used that often. However, it is a perfectly valid option if you wish to use it instead. It too doesn’t sound very forceful or troubling to most people that hear it, making it a good choice.

You can find examples of how to use “keep in mind” in a sentence down below:

  • Just keep in mind that we have a lot of things to do tomorrow, so be sure to rest.
  • Keep in mind that we can’t afford to miss our quota this week.

Gentle Reminder or Kind Reminder?

While they may sound similar on the surface, “gentle reminder” and “kind reminder” do not mean the same thing. Being gentle is often associated with being kind, but they are different, so it’s not that either “gentle” or “kind” reminder is correct, it’s just that they are appropriate for different situations.

Being “gentle” just means being moderate or “not harsh”. Being “kind” is being friendly or considerate. You could gently say something that isn’t kind. Let’s look at an example:

  • This is a gentle reminder that you have a few hours left to finish the assignment.

“Gentle reminder” fits here. But would “kind reminder”? What is kind about this reminder? It’s not kind or cruel, it just is. It wouldn’t be accurate to call it a “kind reminder”. But it can go the other way as well. Consider the following example:

  • My friend gave me a kind reminder to wish Darla a happy birthday.

In this example, “kind reminder” fits because it is kind: the reminder was not something anyone had to give, it was something offered in order to be a good person and make sure something wasn’t forgotten. “Gentle reminder” could still be used here, if that fit how the person offered the reminder.

Generally speaking, “gentle reminder” will be used more often and fit more situations.