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  1. #1
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    Default Do you agree with a BBC English scholar on 'suggest'?

    Learning English | BBC World Service

    Q: Could you please tell me if this use of suggest is grammatically correct?
    The boss suggested we left early yesterday.

    A: It is perfectly correct. You could also say:

    The boss suggested (that) we leave early.
    The boss suggested (that) we should leave early.
    All these forms are possible with little or no difference in nuance, although the subjunctive form, suggested we leave, is a touch more formal.
    -----------------------------------

    How about if I understand the sentence as the boss being insinuating that we had left early yesterday and he was not quite happy with that?
    Last edited by jiamajia; 18-Jul-2010 at 06:05.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Do you agree with a BBC English scholar on 'suggest'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    I suppose that you could get that meaning, though there is nothing in the text to support that meaning. I would prefer the sentence to be written as - The boss suggested that we had left early yesterday.
    Thank you.

    But the scholar understood the sentence to be the same as:
    The boss suggested we leave early yesterday.

    Should the original 'that clause' not have used 'left' to mean 'the boss suggested we leave early yesterday'?

  3. #3
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Do you agree with a BBC English scholar on 'suggest'?

    "The boss suggested we left early yesterday."
    To me, this can only mean that the boss is implying that we left before time yesterday (and he's possibly not happy about it).

    If the boss had suggested we leave early:
    "The boss suggested we leave early yesterday."

    So, I disagree with the BBC person. Even if this is correct in BrE, I disagree with the comment that there is "little or no difference in nuance".

    I also disagree that the following mean the same:
    Everybody recommended that she continue with her education for 3 more years.
    Everybody recommended that she continued with her education for 3 more years. (This sounds wrong)

  4. #4
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Do you agree with a BBC English scholar on 'suggest'?

    I agree with everything Raymott said in the above post.

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