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"I suggest you to ... " British English?


NinjaTurtle
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I don't think the use of suggest + infinitive is proper English anywhere. It sounds like Chinese English to my ear.

 

"Some verbs cannot be followed by object + infinitive. Example: suggest: 'I suggested that she should consult a doctor.' (NOT 'I suggested her to consult a doctor.')"

 

https://www.englishgrammar.org/verbs-object-infinitive/

 

I think it's characteristic of foreigner English because suggest is something of special case. Many similar verbs do permit the + infinitive structure: "I want you to study harder."

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I think becuase suggest is soft instruction, it is not a command that it doesn't work well in either sentence.

 

I would say:

May I suggest that you study more?

 

The question mark is there to enhance the softness, a bit like 吧

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It is common for my students in China to use a construction like "I suggest you to study harder." I would like to tell them it’s wrong, but I learned a long time ago that just because a construction is ‘wrong’ in American English doesn’t mean it isn’t used in British English. So it sounds like from the responses here that the first example is just as wrong in British English as it is in American English. Good to know.

 

Thanks to everyone.

 

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I think that you should be braver:), if it sounds wrong in what you think is American english then it is probably wrong in British english.

There are very few grosse differences these days, if it sounds wrong it probably is.

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On 3/21/2020 at 3:55 AM, NinjaTurtle said:

I suggest that you study harder.

or "I suggest you study harder."  both sound normal to my American ears.  

 

E.g., If a student was lamenting about poor grades, a Professor might say either.  Or if a fellow student, who I know studies little, asked me for advice, I might have said either.

 

In communications training courses after school, I was taught to avoid saying "should" to people because it tends to push people's hot button.  The humorous guidance was "avoid shoulding on people."  It interested me that the same can be true with Chinese 你应该, it can push people's hot button.  

 

(after posting, I realized that the joke might not be apparent to non-native English speakers;  change the "ou-" to "i" and the "ld" to "t" in "shoulding" and the joke becomes apparent)

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1 hour ago, Dawei3 said:

I was taught to avoid saying "should" to people because it tends to push people's hot button

 

I remember the time a student said, "Teacher, you dropped your pen, you had better pick it up." (!) (true story)

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5 hours ago, Dawei3 said:

 

In communications training courses after school, I was taught to avoid saying "should" to people because it tends to push people's hot button. 

 

Good Advice! Chinese students don't react well to constructive criticism because they very rarely receive it.

 

I'd probably say something like "Please try and study harder" which doesn't infer that they are not doing it presently.

 

4 hours ago, NinjaTurtle said:

I remember the time a student said, "Teacher, you dropped your pen, you had better pick it up." (!) (true story)

 

I've had that one before as well.  😀   My favourite is, "Teacher, you are good but should teach better."  (true story) 

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