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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > British English --use of suggest as subjunctive    

British English --use of suggest as subjunctive


British English --use of suggest as subjunctive
Hi Fellow Teachers (especially those teaching FCE)

I �m teaching FCE (indirect speech)and came across this in FCE Coursebook.
FCE Gold Plus Coursebook pg 199

"Let �s pay in cash"

For indirect speech we can use.
Suggest + ing
She suggested paying in cash.

Suggest that (should) infiniitve
Shes suggested that we (should) pay in cash

I understand the above examples, however, I can �t understand the example below.
Is this actually correct British English?  We would never say this in American English.

Suggest that past simple
She suggested we paid in cash.

Can someone please clarify.



4 Oct 2012      


We do use this construction in Australia and NZ but I would probably put in �that �.
She suggested (that) we paid in cash. It �s not necessary but sounds better for some reason.

4 Oct 2012     


I had never heard of such a construction before Sharwong.
As far as I know, suggestions should be reported as you have said. Either with suggest + - ing or suggest that we + inf.
Sorry I can�t help you more.

4 Oct 2012     

United Kingdom

Hi Sharwong!
It �s pretty normal where I come from (Cambridgeshire).
I would most definitely say,

"She suggested we pay in cash." 

And negative too.

"She suggested we not pay in cash." ("She suggested we don �t pay in cash." is normal, too.)

I don �t know the rules on that one but that is how we speak around my way.

You could also say,

"I suggest you/she/they etc. have lunch now."

It all sounds perfectly fine to me but I often hear American stuff that sounds odd to me but fine with my North American colleagues. If it sounds OK to them I go along with it but in class I stick with what I �m comfortable with when speaking.
Hope that �s some help.

4 Oct 2012     


Hi Sharwong,
I  would probably say: "She suggested we pay in cash."

4 Oct 2012     


1. suggest + -ing
I suggest going to the doctor
I suggest his going to the doctor
I suggest John�s going to the doctor.
2.suggest + (that) + he + (should)  + bare infinitive
I suggest that he should go to the doctor.
I suggest  he  go to the doctor.
Greetings from Greece,

4 Oct 2012     


Thanks for your replies!

I just needed one teacher to confirm this was normal Britspeak.
I �ll be sure to point out that is more usual in Britain.


4 Oct 2012