P&R Languages Blog

I Suggest you Read this

Do you know how to use suggest and recommend in English?

It’s not as easy as it seems…


“Kranjska Gora is beautiful. I really recommend you to go there.”

We hear things like this all the time in our classes, and at first glance they might seem correct, however, this sentence actually should be structured like this:

“Kranjska Gora is beautiful. I really recommend you go there.”

Okay, nothing crazy there; but where it starts to get weird is when we speak about third persons. Which of the following sentences would you say is correct?:

“I recommend him to visit Triglav for some great views.”

“I recommend he visit Triglav for some great views.”

If you picked the second answer, you’re correct! It seems wrong and counter-intuitive to use “he” with the bare infinitive (visit), but the words recommend and suggest are actually a part of our grammar known as subjunctive mood. In essence, this means that after the words suggest and recommend, we must use a very specific sentence structure, as listed below:

Subject pronoun (I/you/he/she/it/we/they) + suggest/recommend + subject pronoun (he/she/it/they) + bare infinitive (go/see/eat/take)

Here are some examples:

  • I suggest (that) he eat more vegetables if he wants to get healthy.
  • I recommend (that) she take some time to learn new skills.
  • I suggest (that) we take a break and clear our heads.

Bizarre, right?! This grammar is something that takes a little practice to master, but is definitely doable and will up your English game considerably if you can use it correctly.

We hope this article was helpful to you and that now you know how to use suggest and recommend correctly.

Read more about our English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish lessons, which are all taught by our dedicated native speakers.

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