Speaking Task #5 Grammar Lookout! It's the Subjunctive

Speaking Task #5, we must summarize the problem, state the two solutions and then give our opinion on which solution is the best.

I recommend that you pay attention to your grammar in your response!

Here's a grammar tip for this Speaking Task.

One student will give advice to the other student.

You might summarize this by saying:

He recommends her to talk to the professor. (Incorrect.)

This is grammatically incorrect. Because of the word 'recommends,' we now have to use the subjunctive:

He recommends that she talk to the professor. (Correct!)

The subjunctive looks like this: verb + pronoun + base verb

"Suggest"is another verb that can be used in the subjunctive.

He suggests that she talk to the professor. (Correct!) verb (suggests) + pronoun (she) + base verb (talk)

It is a common mistake for students to say: He recommended me to talk to the professor. (Incorrect.)

He recommended that I talk to the professor. (Correct!)

There are other verbs that we use in the subjunctive. I won't list all the verbs here because there are so many. What is important is that if you choose to use "He suggests" or "She recommends" or "I recommend" in Speaking Task #5, you use the correct grammar.

Remember, if you find the subjunctive difficult, you can choose not to use it. Here are other options that are correct to say:

He recommends talking to the professor. He gives two solutions. First, she can talk to the professor. He thinks she should talk to the professor. One solution is to talk to the professor. I think she should talk to the professor because...

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