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Which of the following sentences is correct?

  • We are glad to provide a recommendation of a good work you did.
  • We are glad to provide a recommendation for a good work you did.
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    I would say, if you are offering to recommend someone to another person after they've done a satisfactory job for you: "We are glad to provide a recommendation for the good job you did." (You need the a before the word recommendation, and I'd avoid using forms of the word provide twice in the same sentence.)
    – JLG
    Nov 14, 2013 at 14:36
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    As pointed out by JLG, the sentence has a few graver problems than the choice of of vs. for. I'd rewrite from scratch. Making this particular question obsolete in the process.
    – RegDwigнt
    Nov 14, 2013 at 14:51
  • Indeed, the only meaning I can ascribe to the phrase provide a job is make available an opportunity for employment, which doesn't seem to be your intention here. The second provide is simply the wrong word - try performed or carried out.
    – Colin Fine
    Nov 14, 2013 at 18:36
  • Thanks for the comments. I have corrected the sentences as advised. My question though still remains the same. If I want to praise a good work done for me and I want to use recommend word, how can I do it? Note, I do not want to praise/recommend someone. I want to recommend a work well done by someone, meaning,that I want to make an example from this work for others.
    – drabiv
    Nov 14, 2013 at 21:44
  • To recommend is to suggest, albeit with more positive implications. I can't figure what you're trying to say: "We are glad to provide a suggestion for the good work you did" just does not make any sense whatsoever.
    – Marthaª
    Nov 14, 2013 at 21:59

2 Answers 2

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Based on your clarifications, I think you can use 'recommend' in this way, but to make it sound more natural in SAE I'd reword your sentences to one of the following:

  • We are happy to provide recommendations of X.
  • We are happy to recommend X.

To my ear the second option using the verb form is more natural, and it doesn't require any preposition (of/for) before the object. But if you insist on the acceptable provide + noun structure, then of is the preposition you want (meaning a good report of something).

In general, though, to "provide a recommendation" has a meaning that's more commending than suggestive, and I think that's why this structure is less preferable to just using 'recommend' as a verb if you're more just wanting to provide a suggestion.


A few other notes, though. I switched glad to happy as that seems more natural in this setting, and your usage of good work you did is also a little awkward. Better would be good work.

In response to your second question to Zack above, I'd suggest "Please use this forum to recommend well done work."

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  • Thanks MunchyWilly. I think your response actually answers my question. I need to use of preposition, or more naturally use 'to recommend something'. As I wrote in my last comment to Zack's response I will post here the link to the website that uses this sentence to explain what I mean precisely.
    – drabiv
    Nov 16, 2013 at 9:52
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I would also rephrase the sentence as suggested by comments on the question, but about the difference in general (note: suggested "more natural" phrasings are for Standard American English):

  • If I provide you with a recommendation of X, X is a thing you can acquire, and I am endorsing your acquisition of it (generally in contrast to similar alternatives). Example: you need a cleaning service, I provide you with a recommendation of a particular such service (perhaps the one I myself use and find to be satisfactory).

    This is more naturally stated as "I recommend X [to you]".

  • If I provide you with a recommendation for X, the usual meaning is: X is something you want to do and I am recommending you to the people in charge of deciding whether you get to do it. Example: you are applying to a graduate program, so you ask me (in the hypothetical, I am one of your professors) to write a letter of recommendation (of you) for your admission to that program.

    This one can also mean that X is something you have already done and, again, I am recommending you to some third party because of it. Example: you are leaving the company where we both work, you ask me to write you a recommendation (of you, to future employers) for your work there. This meaning is more naturally expressed using a different word: I provide you with a reference for X.

Also note that "provide recommendation" is, in itself, incorrect in Standard American English: you need an indefinite article, "provide a recommendation". I am not especially familiar with other Englishes, but I have the impression that omitting the article in this construction is correct in some subcontinental-Indian registers.

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  • Thanks for the answer, Zack. I am interested in the case when I want to praise a work done by someone for me using word recommend/recommendation. How can I do it? Note, I do not want to praise/recommend someone. I want to recommend a work well done by someone, meaning,that I want to make an example from this work for others. Also, please note I do not want to recommend a work to someone else in particular. I want to recommend, provide a recommendation of a work for anyone in general, who might be interested in the same work, service provided in the future.
    – drabiv
    Nov 14, 2013 at 21:52
  • I don't understand the distinction you are making. You want to recommend a work by a person to people who want similar work = is that not the same as recommending the person as skilled at this particular type of work?
    – zwol
    Nov 14, 2013 at 22:48
  • I want to write something like this, – "Please, use this forum to give recommendations of the work well done." Is it grammatically, and stylistically correct? People on this forum have to write recommendations for the work they received not for the people that provided this work.
    – drabiv
    Nov 15, 2013 at 11:33
  • In SWE that is not how you would say that, and I am now more-or-less convinced that "recommendation" is not the word you want, but I'm still not sure what you really want to say. It would help if you specified the type of work you have in mind -- construction? bespoke goods? assembly line? hotel reception? medical? what? -- as it may be described differently in SWE based on that. It would also help if you specified your audience and your native dialect.
    – zwol
    Nov 15, 2013 at 15:29
  • It can be a recommendation for any type of work (office work, construction, baby sitting, anything). My audience is North American, so the sentence should be written in standart English. When the website that uses this sentence is released for public consumption I will post here the link to it and that will explain much better what I mean and want to convey. I guess the issue he is more in the semantics of the word recommendation then in style or grammar. Thanks for your comments so far.
    – drabiv
    Nov 16, 2013 at 9:32

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