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As I understand the B1/B2 grammar book by Raymond Murphy, the 19 verbs (I know this list by heart now)

enjoy, mind, suggest, stop, postpone, admit, avoid, deny, fancy, risk, imagine, consider, finish, keep, keep on, put off, give up, go on, carry on

are supposed to be followed by a gerund.

For example:

I'll do the shopping when I've finished cleaning the flat. / He suggested going to the cinema.


Then why do they say,

"I suggest you choose these glasses."

instead of "I suggest you choosing these glasses?"

Even the application "Grammarly" doesn't consider "choosing" as a mistake.

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I suggest (your) choosing a game instead of a movie=I suggest you choose a game.

Suggest is followed by a gerund or by an independent clause. It is like recommend and advise.

What that list of verbs means to avoid is this:

I suggest to go to a movie. instead of: I suggest we go or I suggest going to a movie. or things like: I enjoy to go to a movie. Instead of: I enjoy going to the movies.

The other ones in the list can only take a gerund: enjoy playing tennis; mind opening the window;fancy having a drink;finish doing the work, etc. ( I don't particularly fancy writing examples for every single one.)

suggest is part of a category of verbs that can take a gerund or an independent clause (I hope I got them all), unlike the others on that list.

  • I suggest we leave now. I suggest leaving now.
  • I advise leaving now. I advise we leave now.
  • He recommends finishing early. He recommends we finish early.
  • They advised publishing the book. They advised we publish the book.
  • We denied damaging the car. We denied we damaged the car.

These verbs that can go both ways as shown above are: suggest, recommend, advise, deny.

careful with imagine: I imagine we left at six o'clock. [think] I imagined we left at six o'clock. [it was something in my imagination]

Sometimes verbs are in two categories and sometimes only in one in terms of how they can be used.

  • OK so if I understand the premises, this is your choice, then you choose => I suggest you choose (meaning I let you make the choice). However, if that is my recommendation I would rather say "I suggest choosing this game rather than this one". (It's still your choice but in this sentence, I emphasise on "I suggest", so I am the subject of the sentence and then my whole action is "suggest choosing"? It's probably a bit confused like I say it but I think I get the idea? – Hexacoordinate-C Nov 26 '18 at 17:29
  • @Hexacoordinate-C You have not understood me, I think. I am telling you that suggest, recommend and advise can take an independent clause. The other verbs in the list cannot. And I have given clear examples. I suggest you choose this game=I suggest (your) choosing this game. The two carry the same exact meaning. – Lambie Nov 26 '18 at 17:45
  • OK then I do not understand what does "choosing" mean in the sentence "I suggest your choosing this game". Is that a noun derivated from to choose and having the same meaning as "choice"? – Hexacoordinate-C Nov 26 '18 at 19:03
  • Ah, so many games to choose from, Henry. What shall I buy my granddaughter? Well, John, I suggest choosing a good one. = I suggest you choose a good one. Choosing is from the verb choose. It is a noun formed from a gerund. – Lambie Nov 26 '18 at 20:28
  • Then I understand! :D – Hexacoordinate-C Nov 27 '18 at 18:31
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[1] I suggest you choosing these glasses.

[2] I suggest you choose these glasses.

The simple answer is that these have similar meanings, but the complementation is different.

In the first, "suggest" is a catenative verb that takes non-finite gerund-participial clauses as complement. Here we normally find genitive subjects: "I suggest your choosing these glasses".

[2] is in competition with [1], but instead of being a catenative verb with a non-finite clause as complement, "suggest" is non-catenative with the declarative content clause "you choose these glasses" as complement. The clause is just as much subordinate (dependent) as that in [1], but it is finite as opposed to non-finite.

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