Recommend smb V or to V? Hello dear italki people!
In different textbooks there are different examples of how to use "recommend" in sentences. For example, "I recommend you visit this place" or "I recommend you to visit this place". What is correct and why? May both of them be correct? 
May 8, 2019 8:16 AM
Comments · 4
Here are correct examples for North America.

I recommend restaurant X. (noun)

I recommend going to restaurant X. (gerund)

I recommend [that] you go to restaurant X. (subordinate clause)

May 8, 2019

"I recommend you to visit this place" is not generally seen as standard English.  However, it has become very widespread in recent years, particularly among non-natives who speak otherwise perfect English. 

'Recommend' should not, strictly speaking, take an indirect object in the way that 'advise' does. For example, while "I advise you to do this" is unequivocally correct, "I recommend you to do this" is not. 

If you say "I recommend you to.....", the 'you' is a direct object. The only thoroughly correct way to continue this sentence would be "I recommend you to all my friends", which obviously has a different meaning.

To be 100% correct, 'recommend' should either be followed by a gerund - as in 'I recommend reading this' - or by a subjunctive clause. When you say "I recommend you visit this place", you are actually using two separate clauses, separated by an understood 'that'.

How do we know it's a subjunctive? Try using the verb 'to be'. For example, we say "I recommend you be cautious"  ( not 'are'), which is a clear indication of a subjunctive mood.

That said, you could probably get away with using the non-standard ' + to V' form. Millions of people do this worldwide, especially Russian speakers. 

May 8, 2019

There is no real difference, in those two sentences.The more normal and full sentence that can be applied to more situations is the second sentence.

"I recommended you to this place" This uses a structure you will need in other situations like 

"We must go to see your mother next week, she is very ill" English uses "to' frequently and also differently to some other languages or in a different manner, so if you can practice using it as much as possible, it will be of great help to you.

"I recommend you go to visit this place" = a place you are discussing or have discussed etc

"I recommend taking your children to London zoo"

"I recommend we go to see phantom of the opera with the rest of the family"

"I recommend this company to you"

"I recommend this restaurant to you"

"I highly recommend this book to you"

"I  recommend you to read this book" 

you can use either structure the choice is yours. 

"I recommend you go see you mother" is the same as recommending you to go to see your mother.

"I recommended you read this book" is the same as "I recommend you to read this book".

by writing the second sentence you will be familiarising yourself with this use of "to"


May 8, 2019

By the way, the examples that Chris gives also hold good for British English. 

As Chris says, 'recommend' should only be followed by a noun/gerund or a subordinate clause.

May 8, 2019