EN: I suggested to them relaxing for a while [sic]

SweetDaffodilus

Member
French - France
Hello,

I'm trying to understand that sentence but I'm wondering if it's correct grammar :

I suggested to them relaxing for a while.


Thank you in advance if anyone could help.
 
  • Tazzler

    Senior Member
    American English
    No, in idiomatic English you should a use a subordinate clause with "that": I suggested (to them) that they relax for a while. If no object is mentioned, you could say "I suggested relaxing for a while". So it depends if there is an object or not.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Welcome to the forum, SweetDaffodilus.

    If "to them" needs to be emphasized, I would say:

    To them I suggested relaxing for a while.
    [in contrast to what I might suggest to someone else]

    Otherwise I'd try an infinitive or a subordinate clause in the subjunctive:

    I suggested for them to relax for a while. [This works best if I made the suggestion to someone other than "them".]
    I suggested they relax for a while. [This is more universally applicable.]
     

    SweetDaffodilus

    Member
    French - France
    Hello Forero,

    Thanks for these explanations, but is your sentence correct? In other words, is that correct using an infinitive after the verb "suggest" ?

    I suggested for them to relax for a while.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Suggest is normally transitive (e.g. "I suggested a vacation"), but it can also mean "make the suggestion":

    I suggested (= made the suggestion) to relax for a while.
    I suggested
    (= made the suggestion) to them to relax for a while. [perhaps too many tos]
    I suggested (= made the suggestion) for them to relax for a while. [OK]

    I do think this last sentence is correct in the context I mentioned, but it does not quite fit what I think you mean to say because it lacks the to them. Compare:

    I suggested a vacation to them. [suggestion directement à eux]
    I suggested a vacation for them. [à qui?]

    I suggested that they relax for a while. [peut être aux parents des patients]
    I suggested for them to relax for a while. [probablement pas à eux même]
    I suggested to them that they relax for a while. [un peu long, mais assez claire]
    I suggested they relax for a while. [ce que je préfère]
     
    Last edited:

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Sorry, I disagree with Forero, but this may be another of those British/American differences. For me, suggest can never be followed by an infinitive, always by a noun or a present participle or a clause with some form of conditional verb. E.g:

    I suggested relaxation.
    I suggested relaxing.
    I suggested they might/should/ought to relax.

    British English is much less likely than American English to use a subjunctive here (or indeed anywhere).
     

    SweetDaffodilus

    Member
    French - France
    Okay! In all cases, thank you for all these explanations! Thus inside a school context I'd better use the British English.

    explanation sorry :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Sedulia

    Senior Member
    **Literate** American English
    I agree with Keith and would never use an infinitive after "suggest" but as an American, I prefer "I suggested they relax." Yes, I like how we still keep our subjunctive!
     

    geostan

    Senior Member
    English Canada
    No, in idiomatic English you should a use a subordinate clause with "that": I suggested (to them) that they relax for a while. If no object is mentioned, you could say "I suggested relaxing for a while". So it depends if there is an object or not.
    I wouldn't be so sure. The sentence as given actually doesn't shock me.
     

    Tazzler

    Senior Member
    American English
    I wouldn't be so sure. The sentence as given actually doesn't shock me.
    Well, perhaps not, but as you know of course "idiomatic" isn't the same as "grammatical". Correct sentences could still sound weird. Now that you've said that I'm beginning to have a few doubts as to my outright rejection of the original sentence, but in general I stand by what I said.
     
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