So i came across this sentence and the correct answer is this:

Nathan didn’t like it when we suggested studying instead of going out.

Personally i would have put to study instead.

Was just wondering why this sentence is supposed to use the verb studying instead of to study

2 Answers 2


Some verbs take infinitival complements:

We asked to study.

We wanted to study.

We wished to study.

Others take gerund-participial complements:

We suggested studying.

We enjoyed studying.

We avoided studying.

Others can take either:

We liked studying. / We liked to study.

"Suggest" takes a participial clause. (It can also take a "that" clause, or it can govern a direct object.) It cannot normally take an infinitival clause as its complement.

From Cambridge:

to mention an idea, possible plan, or action for other people to consider:

  • I suggested an Italian restaurant near the station for the party.

  • formal Might I suggest a white wine with your salmon, sir?

  • [ + (that) ] I suggest (that) we wait a while before we make any firm decisions.

  • Liz suggested (that) I try the shop on Mill Road.

  • [ + -ing verb ] I suggested putting the matter to the committee.

  • [ + question word ] Can you suggest where I could buy a dozen roses?

Also here:

We can use the verb suggest with a noun phrase, a that-clause, the -ing form of a verb or a wh-question word (where, what).

[....] We don’t use suggest + to-infinitive


I wouldn't use "to study", but you might say - "Nathan didn't like it when we suggested that we study instead of going out."

Either this or studying is correct, but "studying" has the advantage of being in the same tense (progressive) as "going out". There is a pleasing symmetry in having both of the alternatives being in equivalent tenses.

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