Is this correct:

"They suggest Mr. Black to coach the young boy".

I know the use of "suggest" verb, but the thing is in the sense of sentense. They don't come to Mr.Black and in person say he needs to coach the boy, they in general (in media, in talks) suggest this person for coaching the boy. Maybe Mr.Black doesn't even know about this, but he's "suggested by people to coach the boy". You know what I mean?

What do you think?

  • 1
    I'd prefer ""They suggested/recommended Mr. Black as a coach for the young boy", though I have heard suggested N to V + object. They suggested epoxy glue to mend the vase. // I suggest [using/employing omitted] a pair of pliers to remove hooks from your catch. Jul 21 '15 at 13:00
  • Thank you. Yes, it can be explained widely who suggests who do what, but I was wondering was exactly that sensense correct for using it...
    – Alex
    Jul 21 '15 at 13:07
  • So the examples you wrote are pretty similar to my situation:)
    – Alex
    Jul 21 '15 at 13:08
  • I'd say it's a fairly informal usage. 'Suggest' is more often used with an ing-form: They suggest hiring / employing (/using / getting, less formally) // asking Mr. Black to coach the young boy. The 'to' here is 'for the purpose of' or similar. Jul 21 '15 at 13:13
  • One of the definitions for suggest is "put forward for consideration," making it a suitable synonym for recommend. It seems the suggestion is being made to someone other than Mr. Black who has some implicit interest in the young boy's coach. Perhaps the principle might speak to the young boy's language arts teacher, concerning his preparation for the spelling bee: They [the rest of the teaching staff] suggest Mr. Black to coach the young boy [because Mr. Black has a history of success preparing young boys for spelling bees].
    – ScotM
    Jul 21 '15 at 13:28

Suggest is OK here, but the use of to seems clunky:

They suggest Mr Black should coach the young boy.


They suggest that Mr Black should coach the young boy.

  • I think this represents a focus shift that implies a different kind of message. The first sentence seems to suggest that using Mr. Black as an instructor is a recommended choice. This suggests Mr. Black himself should take a certain course of action. I suppose you can shift back by saying "should be the one", although that takes away option of nobody instructing the lad somewhat.
    – Tonepoet
    Jul 21 '15 at 14:00
  • These sentenses are also fit the common sense, but again, as @Tonepoet said they're a bit different from the original one.
    – Alex
    Jul 21 '15 at 14:25

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