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    #1

    recommends trying...recommends that I try

    Is the word ‘trying’ a gerund in the following sentence?

    Ryan recommends trying his cousin’s chicken pie.

    I seem to know when to use ‘to + infinitive’ and when to use ‘gerund’ by a ‘I-just-know’ gut feel. I don’t think it’s good to ‘know’ English in this manner.

    I would appreciate it if someone can explain to me when I should use ‘to + infinitive’ and ‘gerund’. I’m thinking there are probably some grammar rules governing their respective usage.

    Thank you for teaching me!

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    #2

    Re: recommends trying...recommends that I try

    Ryan recommends trying his cousin’s chicken pie.

    The two structures that I know are:
    1. Someone recommends something(gerund).
    2. Someone recommends another to do something(infinitve).

    Your sentence belongs to Type 1.
    Type 2 sentence would be: Ryan recommends his friend(or whoever) to try his cousin's chicken pie.
    I am not a teacher.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: recommends trying...recommends that I try

    In many cases, gerunds and infinitives can be interchanged with no change in meaning. In other cases they cannot. I don't know a simple rule that sorts that out.

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    #4

    Re: recommends trying...recommends that I try

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Oceanlike:

    I am definitely not trying to answer your question.

    I just want to share some ideas with you.

    I personally would go crazy if I tried to memorize all the rules (and exceptions) regarding the use of gerunds, infinitives, and that- clauses.

    If I am not mistaken, native speakers DO use their "gut feelings." And those gut feelings come from hearing their first language from birth. I have read that children actually learn their first language primarily from non-family members (friends, teachers, TV and movie dialogue, etc.). As you know, most native speakers cannot cite rules. Why? Because they do not know the rules.

    I have made up some sentences. I think that they are accurate. (If they are not, we can be sure that someone will let us know!)

    1. Ryan recommends trying his cousin's chicken pie.
    2. Ryan recommends us trying his cousin's chicken pie.
    3. Ryan recommends our trying his cousin's chicken pie.
    a. One "easy" rule is that #3 is considered more correct, for we are emphasizing the "trying," not the persons who are trying.
    4. Ryan recommends that we should try his cousin's chicken pie.
    5. Ryan recommends that we try his cousin's chicken pie.
    a. This "try" is NOT the bare infinitive. It is actually the subjunctive. Compare: "Ryan recommends that Mona try his cousin's chicken pie." I understand that in some non-American varieties of English, one can also say, "Ryan recommends that Mona tries his cousin's chicken pie." The subjunctive is still quite strong among educated American speakers.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: recommends trying...recommends that I try

    Is it because I am an American that I find "he recommends his friend to try something" to sound very odd? This is a case for the subjunctive I believe.

    He recommended "his friend try," not "to try. " At least that's what sounds natural in my ears.
    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.

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: recommends trying...recommends that I try

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Is it because I am an American that I find "he recommends his friend to try something" to sound very odd?
    No. It's not natural in BrE, either.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: recommends trying...recommends that I try

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    "Ryan recommends that Mona try his cousin's chicken pie." I understand that in some non-American varieties of English, one can also say, "Ryan recommends that Mona tries his cousin's chicken pie."
    The indicative is acceptable to most speakers of BrE.

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    #8

    Re: recommends trying...recommends that I try

    On second reading, I realise the sentence does not sound natural.
    I agree with Parser on using the gut feelings to judge if a sentence sounds right, rather than being obsessed with remembering rules. The sentence would have worked with the verb "like" but not "recommend" which is a causative verb like make, let, have, help, etc.
    The other problem is that, being in a non-English speaking country, one is often exposed to incorrect English being used.
    I am not a teacher.

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