'Suggest Doing' or 'Suggest to Do'? Which One Is Correct? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 30 June 2024)

Suggest Doing or Suggest to Do: Which One Is Correct?

The verb suggest is never followed by an infinitive (to + base verb). Instead, we use the pattern suggest doing something:

What did the teacher suggest doing?
What did the teacher suggest to do?

My brother suggested playing football.
My brother suggested to play football.

✅ Chris suggested taking a bus to the city centre.
❌ Chris suggested to take a bus to the city centre.

I would suggest contacting the company directly for a quicker response.
I would suggest to contact the company directly for a quicker response.

By using the correct pattern, you can communicate your ideas clearly and accurately.

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Examples from the Media

Finland's border guard last month suggested building a fence several metres high, topped with razor wire and equipped with surveillance cameras and sensors along 160 miles of the border—roughly 20% of its total. —The Guardian (2022)

Don't expect any politician in this campaign, though, to even suggest changing the policy—too many voters would resent it. —The Sydney Morning Herald (2013)

And, of course, we want to do this safely, smartly and responsibly. We wouldn't even suggest doing it any other way. Public health is the priority. Period. —Toronto Star (2020)

I suggest using a meat thermometer to get the perfect cook. —Belfast Telegraph (2021)

Real-World Examples of Misuse

1. Let us can be simplified to Let's to sound more natural.
2. To revise should be replaced with the gerund revising to make the sentence grammatically correct.
3. We say add something to something.
(Image Source: 易進中學英文文法全書2)

Suggest should be followed by a gerund (setting), not an infinitive.
(Also by the Same Author: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7)

1. The verb suggest is followed by a gerund (a noun formed by adding -ing to a verb), rather than an infinitive (to + base verb).
2. In the beginning is often used in a biblical or abstract context, referring to a period of time. On the other hand, at the beginning is more commonly used when referring to a specific point in time or location. In this sentence, since a specific location within the article (the start) is being referred to, at the beginning is more appropriate.
(Source: Andrew Yu)

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