Suggestions, recommendations, and Proposals: What's the difference?
I suggest / recommend / propose we train the staff to use these new PCs.
“Suggest” and “recommend” are often used the same way to share a good idea. The key difference is that “recommend” also means “trust“.
∆ Can you suggest a good dentist? = OK
O Can you recommend a good dentist? = Best!
X My boss suggested me for a promotion.
O My boss recommended me for a promotion.
X I need a letter of suggestion to join this university program.
O I need a letter of recommendation to join this university program.
How about “propose“? Well, it’s used in more formal situations especially when we share an idea for the group to discuss.
Ex: The sales team proposed a three percent price increase. Any thoughts?
Ex: Would anyone like to propose an alternative?
We sometimes use formal expressions in casual situations to be funny or ironic.
Ex: All right guys, it’s Friday night! I propose we get some PIZZA!!! Yeah!
Grammar: + ing
X I suggest / recommend / propose to get some new chairs for the office.
O I suggest / recommend / propose getting some new chairs for the office.
Of course, there are LOTS of other ways to make a suggestion. For example, I want to get in shape. Here are some suggestions from friends.
Ex: You have to exercise and eat right.
Ex: You should try to stretch a little every day.
Ex: You ought to join a gym.
Ex: You might want to try running in the morning.
Ex: I suppose you could get a personal trainer.
Ex: How about going vegetarian?
And yes, there are even more ways to share our good ideas, but I think that’s enough for today.
Want to practice? Book a lesson today and let’s start talking.