Monday, September 1, 2014

How to use "recommend" or "suggest" correctly for speaking question number 5

Many foreign students, in fact, most foreign students of English, do not use 'recommend' or 'suggest' correctly.

And, question number 5 kind of requires you to use 'recommend' or 'suggest'.

Be careful using recommend and an object pronoun.  For instance, this is wrong, wrong, wrong: He recommended me to go to the museum. <---- 100% wrong.

He recommended the museum to me.


He recommended that I should go to the museum.

It's the same with suggested.

Wrong ------>  He suggested me that restaurant. <------Wrong

He suggested that restaurant to me.

He suggested that I should go to that restaurant.

So you have to use recommend or suggest plus AN OBJECT plus an INDIRECT OBJECT PRONOUN

Now, if you begin to speak English really well, you can use a trick that native speakers use.  They often drop the "that" and "should".

For instance:

They recommended that we should visit the planetarium. <---- correct

But, a native speaker might shorten this to: They recommended we visit the planetarium.

Do you see how they drop the "that" and "should"?

Now, be careful!  Sometimes you can use 'recommend' and 'suggest' with an object pronoun.  For example: "He recommended me for the position of teacher to the principal."  "me" works here because it really should be an object.

Here it doesn't work: "He recommended me to apply for a job." "me" is NOT the object here but the indirect object.  "He recommended applying for the job to me."   Or: He recommended that I should apply for the job. Or: He recommended I apply for the job. 

So how can recommend or suggest be used in question #5?  You might have to say, "In the listening section we hear that the student's friend recommends two pieces of advice to him."

Fix these mistakes using the three correct forms above:

1. I recommended him to eat his veggies.

2. She recommended you to call your mother.

3. We suggested them to climb the mountain.

4. You suggested us to drive slowly.

5.  They recommended us to see the opera.

Answers are below:

1. I recommended eating veggies to him. I recommended that he should eat his veggies.  I recommended he eat his veggies.

2. She recommended calling your mother (to you). 'to you' isn't really necessary here because of the possessive pronoun 'your'. She recommended that you should call your mother. She recommended you call your mother.

3. We suggested climbing the mountain to them.  We suggested that they should climb the mountain.  We suggested they climb the mountain.

4. You suggested driving slowly to us.  You suggested that we should drive slowly.  You suggested we drive slowly.

5. They recommended seeing the opera to us.  They recommended that we should see the opera. They recommended we see the opera.

Hey! Guess what?  I wrote a cool book for foreign learners of English about how badly New York City sucks.  I would recommend that you should buy it. :P :P :P (Sorry, just trying to give you more practice with 'recommend'.)

But I think it's a pretty good book.  If you want a free copy via pdf file attached to email, please drop me a line.  I'll be happy to zip a copy over. Please be aware this book is not designed to help you on your TOEFL, it is meant to help you fix your grammar mistakes and improve your vocabulary.

Also, please be aware that the book has some dirty words in it - curse words.


I'm also the guy who used to teach English to a famous (well, they used to be famous) Korean pop group,  I didn't think these performers were being treated well and I said something about it: