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viernes, 20 de marzo de 2015

English Tips for Spanish Lawyers (v) “recommend, suggest + gerund”

Por Nick Potter


Here’s another in this series looking at real-life examples of the most common mistakes in English by native Spanish lawyers - yes, even some of the readers of this blog. These and lots more invaluable tips are available in a new e-book/paperback, here: 50 English Tips for Spanish Professionals.

recommend, suggest + gerund

Legal and other advisers often need to recommend and suggest what colleagues or clients could or should do. Unfortunately you can’t do so properly without using the gerund – we’ll look at what gerunds are and the verbs followed by gerunds that you need to remember.

It’s back to school, I’m afraid – quiet at the back!

Question: Which ONE of A – G below is correct?

A We would recommend to terminate the employment contract by the beginning of March
B We strongly recommend to include this limit
C We suggest that you obtain the relevant counterparty’s consent
D We suggest to hold a kick-off meeting with them in order to explain the transaction
E The Company envisages to enter into a framework agreement with the bank
F We have no other means to verify the delivery date
G If you think that it is worth to carry out that analysis, please let us know

Before you read the answer, remember:


We arrange to meet, we agree to disagree, we prefer to wait and, if we’re watching Nottingham Forest play football, we start to cry.

The verbs arrange, agree, prefer and start are followed by an infinitive, i.e. “to” + another verb.

Watching is another form of verb, one that ends “-ing”. You will often use this when referring to continuous actions, like reading this book or working on a report. This is the same as verbs that end in “-ndo” in Spanish – estoy leyendo el correo or están trabajando en el informe.

Watching, reading and working are present participles of verbs. In Spanish this verb form is called the gerundio.

Gerunds, however, in English are the “-ing” form of verbs when used as a noun after certain other verbs.

This is different to Spanish, where the infinitive would be used. Everyday examples include:
  • I enjoy swimming / Me gusta nadar
  • Do you fancy going to the cinema? / ¿Te apetece ir al cine?
  • They don’t mind changing the date / No les importa cambiar de fecha

What other verbs are followed by the gerund?

Probably the most commonly used in business English are recommend and suggest.

Note: if you’re using the verb advise, it’s usually followed by an object, i.e., the person you’re advising:
  • We advise you to accept their proposal.
  • We don’t advise that you sign this document

So:



In A and B, recommend must be followed by the gerund “-ing” form of the verb.

A We would recommend to terminate terminating the employment contract by the beginning of March
B We strongly recommend to include including this limit

C is the right answer. Suggest is followed by that and an object (“you”), so the gerund does not need to be used.

C We suggest that you obtain the relevant counterparty’s consent [CORRECT]

In D, suggest is followed by a verb. The gerund form must be used.

D We suggest to hold holding a kick-off meeting with them in order to explain the transaction

E-G are further examples of where “noun” forms of verbs are used after other verbs i.e. “-ing” every time.
E The Company envisages to enter entering into a framework agreement with the bank
F We have no other means to verify of verifying the delivery date
G If you think that it is worth to carry out carrying out that analysis, please let us know

If you’re still not clear on this, I recommend reading this chapter again.

Class dismissed!

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