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use of the verb "to suggest"

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Junior Member
Feb 19, 2010
Member Type
Student or Learner
Dear teachers,

I'm not sure about how the verb "to suggest" has been used in the following excerpt:

"Christopher Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great,
has spoken about the importance of the “numinous”—which usually
refers to the experience of contact with the divine—and has
argued that one can experience it without religious or supernatural
belief. He suggests that humans rely on the numinous and the transcendent,
and says that he personally wouldn’t trust anyone who
lacked such feelings".

Does it mean: "he invites humans to rely on" or "he claims that humans rely on"? In other words, is "rely" used as a subjunctive in this case?

Thank you in advance,



Staff member
Mar 12, 2007
Member Type
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
No, as I read this, he is not recommending that people do this (which would take the subjunctive). He is putting forth the idea for consideration that people do this.
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