Unit 33. Subjunctive (I suggest you do)

You can use the subjunctive after these verbs: suggest propose recommend insist demand

  • I suggest (that) you take a vacation.
  • They insisted (that) we have dinner with them.
  • I insisted (that) he have dinner with me.
  • He demanded (that) she apologize to him.
  • The doctor recommended (that) I rest for a few days.

    You can use the subjunctive for the present, past, or future:

  • I insist (that) you come with us.
  • They insisted (that) I go with them.

    Note the subjunctive be (usually passive):

  • I insisted (that) something be done about the problem.
  • The chairperson proposed (that) the plans be changed.

    Other structures are possible after insist and suggest:

  • They insisted on my having dinner with them, (see Unit 57a)
  • It was a beautiful evening, so I suggested going for a walk, (see Unit 51)

    You cannot use the infinitive after suggest:

  • She suggested that he buy some new clothes, (not suggested him to buy)
  • What do you suggest I do? (not suggest me to do)

    Should is sometimes used instead of the subjunctive.

  • She suggested that he should buy some new clothes.
  • The doctor recommended that I should rest for a few days.
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