Bob recommended me a famous doctor.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by keeley_h, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. keeley_h Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    Hi everybody,

    I'm confused with recommend.
    Are the following sentences correct?

    Bob recommended me a famous doctor.
    Bob recommended Sue Meg.
    Bob recommended Sue a famous book.
    Bob recommended Bulgaria a famous book.

    I think the first and the second sentences are correct but the third and the fourth sentences are incorrect.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  2. mother earth Senior Member

    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    USA/English
    You might get away with these sentences verbally, but if writing I would play it safe and use prepositions:
    Bob recommended a famous doctor to me. Etc.
     
  3. SwissPete

    SwissPete Senior Member

    94044 USA
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    If Bulgaria is a country, then I don't understand
    :confused:
     
  4. keeley_h Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    Oh, yes!
    Bulgaria is my country.
    But it's really strange as you say. Sorry. Please let me change it into "Bob recommended Bulgaria a high-tech jet."

    So would you think about the following sentences instead of the ones in my post #1?

    Bob recommended me a famous doctor.
    Bob recommended Sue Meg.
    Bob recommended Sue a famous book.
    Bob recommended Bulgaria a high-tech jet.

    Doesn't the conclusion change?
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  5. manon33 Senior Member

    English - England (Yorkshire)
    a
    I don't think we are any further forward with your Bulgaria example!

    Since Bulgaria is not a person, it is difficult to see how one could recommend something to it, a high tech jet or anything else.

    Do you mean Bob was an aeronautics consultant who recommended that the Bulgarian government buy a certain jet, or what?
     
  6. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    keeley, I think that we need to go back to the beginning. Please tell us what your understanding of "recommend" is. We can sort of understand your first and third sentences but your second and fourth sentences make no sense whatever. Could you tell us, in other words, what you're trying to say?
     
  7. keeley_h Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    Hi Dimcl,

    Thanks a lot for saving me many times.
    And thanks a lot for giving me such warm words this time.

    I'd like to know if or not a person and a thing can follow recommend without to.
    Some of my textbooks say both can follow and some say can't. So I'm confused.

    Bob recommended me a famous doctor.
    In the first sentence, two persons follow recommend without to. But I think it's understandable and grammatically correct because the meaning of the sentence is not ambiguous or misleading because such a situation to "recommend a famous doctor to me" sometimes happens and the combination of me and a famous doctor is so typical.

    Bob recommended Sue Meg.
    In the second sentence, two persons follow recommend without to. But I think Sue and Meg sounds alike or are similar or seem to have the same weight, which is the difference from the first sentence. So I think it isn't clear which person Bob recommended to which person. So I think it's incorrect.

    But if the first sentence is correct and the second sentence is incorrect, how can I know this is correct, this incorrect, this is correct, ... because I can't put any clear boundary between "me and Sue" or "a famous doctor and Meg," that is to say there can be many intermediate persons between "me and Sue" or "a famous doctor and Meg". So I'm really confused.

    Bob recommended Sue a famous book.
    In the third sentence, a person and a thing follow recommend without to. But this combination is a little bit odd to me because such a situation to "recommend a thing to a person" doesn't happen as often as to "recommend a person to a person". So the third sentence sounds incorrect to me. But I'm not sure. I'm confused.

    Bob recommended Bulgaria a high-tech jet.
    In the fourth sentence, two things follow recommend without to. Yes please think Bob was an aeronautics consultant who recommended that the Bulgarian government buy a certain jet. But I think this is more odd than the third sentence because Bulgaria is a thing, not a person. Can a thing be recommended a thing by someone? But the situation is so likely. Some aeronautics consultant sometimes recommends some government buy a certain jet. It sometimes happens. So I think the fourth sentence is correct.

    But if the fourth sentence is correct, how on earth can I know this is correct, this is incorrect, this is ...?

    I'm so sorry to talk as if I ignored mother earth and manon33. Of course I didn't. You taught me I should avoid the four sentences. Thanks, mother earth and manon33. I'll avoid them from now on.


    But I'd really like to know how much incorrect they are or why they are incorrect.
    Please help me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  8. Greg from Poland

    Greg from Poland Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
  9. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I suspect usage with recommend has been going through a period of change, which might explain why you're seeing different advice in different textbooks, keeley_h.

    The safest advice to follow is that in Greg's link: when you have recommend + direct object X + indirect object Y, always use recommend X to Y.

    Another option is to leave out the indirect object - it's often clear from the context:)
     
  10. cycloneviv

    cycloneviv Senior Member

    Perth, Western Australia
    English - Australia
  11. keeley_h Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    Aha, this problem has already been deeply dicussed in the forum. I didn't know that. I was wrong. My four sentences, and all the "recommend+indirect object+direct object" sentences without to, are incorrect.
    I got it!
    Thanks!

    But when reading the thread I had a question.
    Loob says in his post #12 in http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=526260 , "A book I recommend [that] everybody read" is relatively uncommon in BrE because it includes a third person singular present tense subjunctive".
    I think "A book I recommend that everybody read," is the subjunctive. But I think "A book I recommend everybody read," isn't the subjunctive but is a Subject+Verb+Complement sentence like "She made me go to school," "I saw Ann enter the room," and so on.

    Am I right?
     

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