Will anyone make a clear comparison between "recommend + subject + to infinitive" and "recommend + to + subject + to + infinitive"?

As an example:

  1. We recommend you to buy a new car.
  2. We recommend to you to buy a new car.

Are both sentences correct?
Which one am I most likely to hear in a native atmosphere?

  • 1
    Please check this question which is related. I'm sure you will find some interesting answers. – Irene Feb 5 '12 at 8:38

This is an area where usage has recently changed quite significantly...

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Note that the same pattern occurs with any other verb - lately, we just don't bother with "to". If we look back further in time, we see that even the first "to" has been progressively discarded...

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Technically speaking, as @Mustafa points out, there are some contexts where omitting the first "to" implies that the recommendation itself is being made to someone else, about you. In practice this is rarely an issue - the intended meaning is invariably clear, and in most cases the advice is actually being given to "you".

I think the main driving force behind this shift in usage is simply that we all sense "We recommend to you to buy a new car" is far too "verbose". Increasingly, we tend to just go for the concise form "We recommend [that] you buy a new car".

Also note that the current trend is increasingly not to bother with "that" either...

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"We recommend you to buy a new car."

This is fine, but probably doesn't mean what you think it means. This means that we think the right person to buy a new car is you. It means, essentially, "If you asked us who should buy a new car, we would recommend you."

"We recommend to you to buy a new car."

That's fine. The "to you to" is a bit awkward sounding though. Most common are, "We recommend buying a new car" (to you is implied) or "We recommend [that] you buy a new car."

  • I prefer the later, "We recommend that you buy a new car", since it is the most semantically and explicitly correct form. Though, why did you wrote it as "We recommend [that] you buy a new car."? – Fabián Heredia Montiel Feb 5 '12 at 6:05
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    Because "that" is optional. It can be said with or without "that". – David Schwartz Feb 5 '12 at 6:10
  • I don't see how "We recommend to you to buy a new car" is grammatically valid. It sounds wrong to me; neither "to" should be in there. – Jez Feb 5 '12 at 14:22
  • @Jez I agree it's awkward, but it is valid. Some translations of Acts 27:22 even use the phrase, "I recommend to you to be of good cheer ..." There are over 8,000,000 Google results for "recommend to you to" and at least half seem to be this construction. – David Schwartz Feb 5 '12 at 15:30
  • @Jez: "recommend to you to buy" is grammatically fine - it's just verbose, so increasingly we avoid it. – FumbleFingers Feb 5 '12 at 15:54

A) If tou want to say that something or someone is good

recommend sb/sth to sb

I recommend this book to anyone.

I will recommend you to my boss for the open position.

recommend sb/sth for/as sth

I will recommend you for this duty.

B) If you want to advise someone to do something

recommend that someone do something

I recommend that you see your doctor.

recommend doing something

If you go to London, we recommend visiting Tate Modern
(Not we recommend you visiting).

Please check recommend


What about: 'I recommend your visiting the Tate Modern museum' (compare to: I recommend visiting...)? I have told students that this structure is not considered correct, and my grammar reference says it is not (i.e., 'recommend' is not among the verbs which can co-locate with an object plus an -ing form, only with an -ing form). However, does anyone believe otherwise? Thank you.

  • Rules like this are always suspect, although they may be convenient for learners. – Xanne Oct 30 '17 at 4:58

protected by tchrist Feb 22 '15 at 0:18

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