I said to my employee:

I suggest adding dtUpdate column to the table.

For me it sounds wrong. I want to say:

I suggest to add dtUpdate column to the table.

But I know by verb pattern this is wrong.

  • You appear to recognize that suggest ordinarily takes the -ing form in its complement. What then is your question? Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 21:22
  • 2
    I suggest [that] you add a dtUpdate column to the table.
    – Jim
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 1:53

2 Answers 2


Suggest doing something is perfectly fine, and idiomatic.

I suggested going in my car.

Thus, to restore the fun and integrity to the sport, I suggest implementing the following rules.

If you want it avoid the 405 this weekend, I suggest cutting through Cold Water Canyon.

As for using suggest + infinitive, the Corpus of Contemporary American English doesn't have any sentence using suggest that way.


You have at least two choices here.

I suggest adding ...

is a kind of passive which makes the suggestion polite. You can also use the present tense subjunctive:

I suggest that you add ...

This is a stronger suggestion because it also suggests who should do the work ("you"), not only that it be done by someone. This can be softened by changing from I to we:

I suggest that we add ...

which is then a suitable alternative for the first form, of about equal "strength", or perhaps even softer: the addition is to be done by us as a team, not necessarily you. We should have this addition, but if you don't feel like doing it, it can be another one of us.

By the way: we need an article in your sentences:

I suggest adding {a | the} foo_count column to the table.

Use "a" if it is a new column that you just invented.

I suggest adding a {foo_count column | column named foo_count} to the table whose purpose will be to maintain the count of foo events received by the widget represented by each table row.

Use "the" if it is an existing column in some table:

I suggest adding the foo_count column that we have in the bar_table to this table also.

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