1

Which one is correct, and why?

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has asked if the cabinet will increase its marketing budget this year.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has asked that the cabinet increase its marketing budget this year.

  • 1
    Welcome to ELL. We love to help English learners, but we'd like to hear more about current understanding, background research, and so on, when a learner asks a question, especially one that has nothing much more than proposed alternatives like your question. (For what it's worth, the two alternatives in your question are entirely different patterns, even though they both use the same verb, ask. If we know why you think they're somehow related in any way we can help you better.) – Damkerng T. Dec 22 '16 at 12:12
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Short answer: If this is about the subjunctive, I would go with number two.

Long answer: The thing is, they're both correct. It just depends on what you mean.

Who gets to decide if there can be an increase? The Tourism Authority or the cabinet?

If the cabinet gets to decide on its own, go with number one.

If the Tourism Authority is deciding -- and is essentially "commanding" the cabinet to increase its marketing budget -- then, go with number two.

The difference lies in "asked if" and "asked that." See "1: ask + if/whether" and "2: ask + that".

4

They are both correct sentences. But which to use depends on the context.

In the first question the authority asks about information, nothing more.

In the second question the authority is asking the cabinet to do something.

2

Both sentences are grammatically correct. But they mean different things.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has asked if the cabinet will increase its marketing budget this year.

This means that the Tourism Authority of Thailand is merely asking whether the cabinet will increase the budget. As in, the Authority wants to know if it would be possible to allocate a higher budget.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has asked that the cabinet increase its marketing budget this year.

Now, this means that the Tourism Authority is actually instructing the cabinet to increase the budget this year. This sentence implies that the Tourism Authority has some authority in deciding the allocation of budget and is exercising that authority to tell the cabinet to increase the budget.

  • For me the second form is "requesting" a budget increase, the sentence does not give enough detail to infer "instructing" and that they have some authority. In many countries, every year many organisations will ask their government to increase their budget. The government has to consider their priorities and, in these economically challenged times, some budgets are reduced. – AdrianHHH Dec 22 '16 at 13:11
  • @Adrian : I agree. It could also possibly mean that the Authority is petitioning for a budget increase. – Harsh Kanchina Dec 23 '16 at 7:38
1

The two previous answers are correct, and these are indeed two different sentences with different meanings. If you go with the second, subjunctive option, mind your audience:

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has asked that the cabinet increase its marketing budget this year.

This option is typical in the US.

--

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has asked that the cabinet increases its marketing budget this year.

From following this site, I know at least some Brits would prefer this version.

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