The Difference Between Recommend And Suggest (Video Lesson)

The English language is full of synonyms, false cognates, and a ton of other confusing words. In this episode of RealLife TV you are going to learn how to really use the words SUGGEST and RECOMMEND, and understand why so many English learners confuse these two very common words.

Remember, you can read along with the transcript below.

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Aww yeah! What’s going on ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of RealLife TV. Today we have a special episode where me, and this cat, are going to teach you guys the difference between recommend and suggest. Meow, Aww yeah!

So many people confuse these two words, recommend and suggest and in many cases they can be synonyms. For example, if you tell me that you are feeling sick, I can say:

  • I recommend you see a doctor, or
  • I suggest you see a doctor

In this case they are exactly the same. A different structure, I can say:

  • I suggest seeing a doctor (using the ING form of the verb)
  • I recommend seeing a doctor

So if you follow either of these verbs by another verb, the second verb will be in the ING form. I recommend going, I suggest having lunch at that restaurant.

A great way to distinguish the difference between these two verbs is to look at it in the noun form. For example:

  • a suggestion
  • a recommendation

A suggestion, I can give you a suggestion that’s just a good idea, something that I think would be cool. But when I say a recommendation that means that I am putting my trust in you.

For example, I can recommend you for a job, I can recommend you. That means that I am telling my friend, who could be your future boss, that you are a trustworthy person. I recommend you.

Or another situation, I can recommend my dentist because she is really good. I can recommend her to you because I know she is a really good professional.

And a different way to use suggest would be when I want to say that this implies something. An example could be, if you hear someone speaking English with a strong accent you might say:

  • Oh, his accent suggests that he is Australian. Or,
  • His accent suggests that he is American

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So, thanks a lot guys and I’ll see you next time on RealLife TV.

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  • Thanks for the class Chad! I absolutelly recommend you .

  • Sven Haakonknutson says:

    Me and the cat are going to . . . ? Ummm…