EN: suggest that + mode


Senior Member
Hi everyone,
As I was reading an article online, I came across a sentence that made me twitch.
In English, some verbs like suggest or recommend imply using the subjunctive form in the that-clause.
I recommend he read more
I am going to suggest he be kinder to his sister.

In the article, the author wrote : « After doing some digging, I uncovered some pretty convincing information suggesting that the injectable compound was Primobolan. »
Shouldn’t he have used « be » instead of « was Primobolan » ? Or is it because, in that phrase, suggest is in its gerund form? Or anything else ?
I do think the writer is right, what’s the explanation ?
Thanks a lot,
  • Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    Le verbe to suggest a différents sens et ils ne sont pas tous suivis du subjonctif. On utilise typiquement le subjonctif lorsqu'une personne suggère à une autre de faire quelque chose, lorsqu'elle fait une recommandation, mais pas s'il s'agit d'une certaine vraisemblance d'un fait incertain.


    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    Context is very useful.

    If this is the source
    Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Steroid Cycle - Dbol And Primobolan - More Plates More Dates
    then the sentence preceding the one in #1 is:
    What the injectable compound was is mainly what is debated about.

    This makes it clear that the question is about a fact, not about a possible decision for the future. In such a case, as Maître Capello says, the indicative is used after "suggest that".


    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    This difference is applied more fully in North American English than in British English, which seems mostly to have discarded the subjunctive mode of verbs in the singular third person (the only case in which we make the distinction in modern English).

    So... check your context--BE or AE? We AE-speakers understand the British non-usage of this mode, but most people here still use it quite naturally. (And we don't call it "subjunctive mode"--we just know to use it when the context suggests.)


    Senior Member
    Thanks everybody for your answers 🙏🏻
    @Hildy1 yes it is
    @wildan1 AE context, but not sure it matters here (see below). When you look it up on the internet, it seems to be called the subjunctive form (mood), I didn’t make that up 😅
    Maître Capello is right, I kind of « sensed » it but couldn’t explain it. Indeed, the convincing information is not suggesting anybody to do anything.