I'd like to know which one of the following sentence is used more?

  • I suggest doing your homework.
  • I suggest that you do your homework.

Edit: Does one of these sounds more idiomatic than the other?

  • 1
    I think a better (more accurate) question would be: Does one of these sound more idiomatic than the other? If they both sound acceptable, would you really care if one was used 60% of the time, and the other 40% of the time? English is flexible and there is often more than one way to say essentially the same thing.
    – J.R.
    Aug 27, 2017 at 18:33
  • @J.R. Thanks for the comment. Well, I'll gonna edit the question. Aug 27, 2017 at 19:06

1 Answer 1


It would depend on the context. To me

I suggest doing your homework.

Has more immediacy, as in

I suggest doing your homework, now!

and is equivalent to

I suggest you do your homework.


I suggest that you do your homework.

would have more the meaning of

It would be good idea to do your homework at some point.

  • 1
    It's interesting that you think the gerund noun form has more "immediacy". The construction I suggest [that] you [do something] can only mean that doing [whatever] is what I think you should do. But consider a context like "I wonder what could have caused my stomach ache", "I suggest eating those unripe apples", where the speaker certainly isn't recommending that as a good course of action! So arguably the gerund form is less "immediate", since it can refer to a past action rather than a "current" recommendation. Aug 27, 2017 at 18:12
  • 1
    ...put another way, it seems to me I suggest [that] you XXX is effectively a watered down version of XXX as a blunt imperative (in this example, the instruction Do your homework!). An imperative seems more "immediate" to me than most constructions. Aug 27, 2017 at 18:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .