Suggest + gerand

According to a dictionary, we can say “suggest doing something,” but we cannot say “suggest someone to do something.” My question is if the expression “I was suggested to do something” is correct or not. Should we say “I was suggested doing something?”


If someone said to us, “I suggest consulting with your lawyer,” can I say “It has been suggested that we consult with our lawyer?” Am I right in thinking that we cannot say “I was suggested …?”

If you wish to add the information that the suggestion was made to you personally, then “it has been suggested to me, that we consult with our lawyer”

If you said “I was suggested to consult with our lawyer” it would mean you had been selected to do the consulting, but it could sound odd if used innappropriately.

Thank you for answering my question, Schoenewaelder.

If you say “I was suggested…,” it can mean that I was selected to do something, but does not necessarily mean that doing something itself was not suggested or recommended. Is this understanding right?

“I was selected” should read “You were selected.”

Mmm…The verb after that is in the present subjunctive, which is usually (always?) the same as the infinitive form.

Examples: it was suggested that he have a bath, it was suggested that I be there, it was suggested that he go away.

“I suggest consulting our lawyer”: I would assume the implied subject is “we”. If you intend to introduce a different subject, I suggest that you use the form “I suggest that Grandma consults our lawyer”.

I was suggested to do…I can’t think of any instance where that would sound right.

The Pope resigned, I was suggested as a replacement.

Are you going to accept the nomination?

I’m quite busy but I could do weekends if someone else could take care of mon-fri…

It has been suggested that Adrian_r be a replacement.

It is this writer’s view that it has been allegedly suggested that he be the chairman of the board of trustees.

Ooo…triple tautology, yet grammatically correct. Well done, Yutaka!

I’m nervous about commenting further, as I shall probably just make it more confusing, but in answer to your question, the phrase “I was suggested to…” would almost certainly mean the suggestions had related to “who” rather than “what”. The “what” is already known, or strongly implied. (The Pope is dead. We all know there needs to be an election).

Although normal English speakers would understand the sentence, it might be more correct to formulate it “! was suggested, as being the most appropriate person, to consult with our lawyers”. Although this sounds a bit convoluted, it is actually exactly the sort of language that people who spend their time consulting with lawyers use.

A simpler formulation would be “It was suggested that I consult with our lawyers”, which could be used if the sugestions relating to “who” and “what” were both raised for the first time.

If I spend too long thinking about these things, phrases that initially I instinctively recognised as grammatically incorrect or clumsy, start to sound more acceptable, and that if the message is clear, then the fact that other people find it contrary to normal usage is their problem not mine. I like to think that my language learning skills enable me to have this more flexible interpretation of my own mother tongue! Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, any suggestions I make, you take at your own risk.

Thank you for your detailed analysis of the relationship of the verb to its objects.