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Grammar and Recommendations

Everyday Grammar
Grammar and Recommendations
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Imagine you want to give or ask for a recommendation. This recommendation could be for a restaurant, a clothing store, a hotel, or an activity.

How would you do it?

In this Everyday Grammar, you will learn about a point of connection between grammar and recommendations. You will also get a chance to practice with what you learn.

Why are recommendations important?

Let's start by exploring why recommendations are important.

In everyday life, we often help others by sharing information with them. Other people also share information with us.

These helpful pieces of information sometimes take the form of recommendations – suggestions about what should be done or chosen.

It is also worth noting that English speaking tests often include recommendations. You should always be prepared to give a recommendation and explain the reason for your recommendation.

Asking for recommendations

So, how do we ask for recommendations?

A few question words are especially useful for recommendations: which, where, what.

But for today’s lesson, let’s explore only the question word “which.”

We use the question word “which” when we have several choices. When we use “which,” we are asking for one choice among many.

Let’s explore an example.

Imagine you are on a street that has many restaurants. You might ask a friend:

Which restaurant do you recommend?

The general structure is

Which + noun + do + subject + main verb

Once we are in the restaurant, we might ask the server about the dishes on the menu. You might ask:

Which dish do you recommend?

Structures we use to recommend something

How do we respond to a question for a recommendation?

For example, if a person asked you:

Which restaurant do you recommend?

The simplest answer would be this:

I recommend _______.

So, if you know that a restaurant called SushiMaster is good, you could say:

I recommend SushiMaster.

You might also answer in a more complex way:

If you like sushi, you should go to SushiMaster.

The general structure is:

If you____, you should____

This structure involves an if-clause and a second clause that involves the modal “should.”

Explain why you recommend something

After making a recommendation, you should be prepared to explain why you recommend something.

You can use the word “because,” as in:

I recommend SushiMaster because it has the freshest fish of any restaurant in the city.


I recommend SushiMaster because it has the best sushi chef in the city.

You could also give an explanation without “because.” It might go something like this:

I recommend SushiMaster - it has the best sushi chef in the city.


Now let’s take some time to work with these ideas. Imagine you are staying at a hotel in an unfamiliar city. You would like to ask for a recommendation for a good bakery. How would you do so?

Pause the audio to consider your answer.

Here is one answer:

Which bakery do you recommend?

Now imagine that you want to recommend that your friend visit a park in your city. How might you explain your recommendation?

Pause the audio to consider your answer.

Here is one answer:

I recommend Midtown Park because it has the largest, most beautiful trees in the city.

Closing thoughts

Today, we explored a few ways to talk about recommendations. In future lessons, we will explore recommendations in more detail, as well as many other fun, useful topics that connect with grammar.

I’m John Russell.

John Russell wrote this lesson for VOA Learning English.


Words in The Story

recommendation – n. a suggestion about what should be done or chosen

practice – v. to do something again to become better at it

clause – n. a part of a sentence that has its own subject and verb

modal I a verb (such as should) that is usually used with another verb to express ideas such as possibility or necessity