"Suggest doing" or "suggest that somebody do"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Zicerone, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Zicerone New Member

    Spanish
    Hello;
    Can someone explain the difference in meaning (if there is one) between these two sentences?
    "Peter suggested (us) going to the cinema"
    "Peter suggested that we go to the cinema"

    We doubt whether they mean the same or the difference is that in the first one Peter would also go to the cinema with us whereas in the second one he wouldn't go.
    Or perhaps there is another difference that we can't see
     
  2. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    Well, 'we'/'us' isn't clear about whether Peter is included anyway - in English, Spanish, or any other European language. If you leave out the pronoun altogether, 'Peter suggested going to the cinema' has no subject for 'going', and the subject has to be supplied by context, not by grammar.

    The children were complaining they had nothing to do. Peter suggested going to the cinema. [= suggested they go, probably just the children]

    The children were complaining they had nothing to do. Their parents were getting annoyed with the children. Peter suggested going to the cinema. [unclear - suggested the parents go, to get away from the children? Suggested he and the parents go? He and the children? All of them?]
     

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