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I am writing to my manager. I want to suggest to her making a new service. I have problem with this sentence

Can you suggest to them that Company Name develops the Italian version of the website?

Am I using that correctly in this context please?

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The sentence

Can you suggest to them that Company Name develops the Italian version of the website?

uses that in a correct way.

However, if there is no Italian version of the website present at the moment, I would put it thus:

Can you suggest to them that Company Name develops an Italian version of the website?

with the indefinite article making clear that the task is not to work on an existing Italian version but to create one from the scratch. I could be wrong here, I do make mistakes in article usage sometimes, so look out for comments to my answer.

And another niggle: it might be more proper to write

Can you suggest to them that Company Name develop an Italian version of the website?

When someone suggests to another person to do something (yet undone; hypothetically), the sentence often assumes the "subjunctive mood", and there is a quaint rule that the verb should be put in the infinitive form despite it being in the third person singular:

"I suggest that Paul eat an apple"

(not eats an apple)

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    The choice of articles is more subtle than just whether the site exists yet or not. If there's going to be one and only one Italian website, using "the" is still correct, but you might use "an" the first time you introduce it, or if it's uncertain whether there will be one or not. Hence, "We're going to create an Italian version of the website", "So you think we really need an Italian version?". Then, once you've decided to do it but before work starts, "Who shall we get to create the Italian version of the website?". It will exist (as far as we expect, anyway). – Steve Jessop Feb 16 '15 at 12:39
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    ... my observation as a speaker (not an academic or a grammar expert) is that the longer you talk about a hypothetical future thing, the more likely it is to transform into the future thing. – Steve Jessop Feb 16 '15 at 12:44
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If it is clear who "them" refers to, you can also leave it out:

Can you suggest that Company Name develop....

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  • Well, yes, you can leave it out, but you never need to know the referent. – jimsug Jul 15 '14 at 21:54
  • The question asks if the word that is being used correctly in this phrase. This user has explained another way the word that can be used in this phrase. I think this information could be helpful to the learner. Please do not flag this answer. – J.R. Jul 16 '14 at 21:25

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