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GÄVLE, Sweden
I am an English/Spanish language trainer who thinks communication is a key issue in human interaction. Good sensible communication is needed whatever the language. On the personal side I strive for happiness by keeping love, respect and honesty as main ingredients. Last but not least, my smile is my trademark :O)

19 de marzo de 2012

EXPLAIN, RECOMMEND, SUGGEST

These three verbs are very similar in meaning to their equivalents in Spanish (explicar, recomendar, sugerir respectively), and shouldn't imply much difficulty by a Spanish-speaker when using them in English. Unfortunately, they do because Spanish-speakers tend to use them applying the Spanish-verb pattern.


So teachers keep correcting their students when they say statements like:
Could you explain me the difference again?  (¿Podrías explicarme la diferencia de nuevo?) 
I recommend you this film; it's really good.  (Te recomiendo esta película.)
I suggest you that you go and see that film. (Te sugiero que vayas a ver la película.)
(The last example needs some more explanation, which I will tackle in this post as well.)


Verbs like explain/recommend/suggest need to be followed by the preposition to before the indirect object (i.e. to whom you explain, recommend or suggest something), otherwise this object is taken as the direct object. Thus, we can say:
recommended him for the job. (¨him¨ is the direct object)
He explained the lesson in a very easy way so all the students understood it straight away. (¨the lesson¨ is the direct object)
suggest a coffee before we go in. (¨a coffee¨ is the direct object)
We must remember to place to before the person to whom we are explaining, recommending or suggesting something
I recommended the new film to him.
He explained the lesson to the new students. 
El blog para aprender inglés has published a very good post on the verb recommend, which I encourage you to read:
http://menuaingles.blogspot.com.es/2010/01/como-se-usa-recommend.html


For more instances of recommend and explain please check these online entries:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recommend
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/explain?show=0&t=1328789888


Regarding suggest I suggest that you read the online entry below (check my own example just given as well):
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suggest


So the verb suggest can have three different patterns:
  • suggest something (to somebody)
  • suggest (to somebody) that + clause *
  • suggest doing something
* clause = (1) subject (should) infinitive
                (2) subject + verb form (present/past, depending on the verb tense of suggest)

I suggested a coffee before our visit.
He suggested (to me) that I should call before leaving.
We suggested going to the cinema that evening.
We suggested that he went home straight away.

Lastly, I recommend that you watch this video uploaded by Jennifer ESL explaining the uses of advise, recommend and suggest


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