- For Teachers
Which option is right in this sentence?
"He suggested that we save/saved our money."
Thanks. I used to think that, even in past, we use "save" or "should save" after the verb 'suggest'.
(1) I know that you are primarily interested in British English.
(2) I believe that you are 100% correct: "suggest" is a subjunctive
verb -- at least in American English.
(3) I believe that the following is "correct" in American English:
I suggest that he study Chinese.
I suggest that he should study Chinese.
I suggestED that he study Chinese.
I suggestED that he should study Chinese.
(3) I believe that the following is "incorrect" in American English:
I suggest that he studiES Chinese.
I suggestED that he studiED Chinese.
***** Thank you *****
The problem is that "suggest" can have two meanings.
One is closer to recommend. He recommended we save our money. He advised us to save our money. In that case, you use the bare infinitive. She suggested I be set free. He suggests we leave now. He suggested we save our money.
The other is to put forth as a possibility, to propose an idea.
For example: We got a lot of money last year. We asked three people what they thought we had done with it all.
Paul went first. He suggested that we threw a huge party and invited the whole town.
Jenny guessed second. She proposed that we had given it all to charity.
Peter suggested we saved our money. He was right. It is still in the bank.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.
Thanks a lot to all dear posters. I'd like to give you the context here. It's from Landmark, Advanced Student's Book.
(Here, "suggest" is a reporting verb.)
'He suggested that we saved our work on disk.'
Thank you again,...all the best.
(1) Of course, I could be wrong, but I think that if you wrote that sentence for an American audience, they would be confused.
Mr. Smith (talking to Tom on Monday): I suggest that you save your work on disk.
Martha (on Tuesday): What did Mr. Smith say?
Tom: Oh, he suggested that I save/ should save my work on disk.
As Ms. Barbara pointed out, the past (actually the past perfect) is necessary only when the verb "suggest" is being used to mean something such as "imply":
The boss did not say so directly, but he suggested it was I who had stolen the money yesterday.
***** Thank you *****