Verbs of suggestion

by Shweta Ramkumar

I was having a lesson with my German ESL student earlier this week where we covered verbs used when we make suggestions or recommendations and how to respond to them. The word ‘propose’ was included in the lesson material which seemed to confuse her quite a bit. She asked me if propose means more like getting engaged with the intention of marriage and I said I agreed with her.

The word ‘propose’ is commonly interpreted as the act of asking someone to marry them. However, in certain European cultures, particularly France, this word is an alternative to “I suggest”, “I recommend’, “I believe or think” as a way of suggesting or recommending something. The noun of version of the word which is proposal is commonly used in workplaces when putting forth a plan for a project, budget, research grant etc. This meaning of propose or proposal is a more structured and formal use of the word suggest and seemed to be more common in older times; for example “He proposes the Plaza as a suitable venue for the conference”. Workplaces hire people to write and manage relevant proposals as well.

Nowadays however, it is predominantly used in the context of engagements, marriages and a formal outline or plan in the workplace where funding or approval is required. I must admit when I used to teach my French students a few years ago, their use of this word frequently as an alternative for suggest used to throw me off a bit. This is why it is important to understand the cultural context of words used in communication and how they are interpreted in different countries and cultures. I will be posting similar words, idioms and phrases covered in my ESL lessons from time to time and would love to hear your thoughts on whether you have heard of any words that have the same spelling but different meanings or interpretations in different countries or cultures ?

#esllessons #eslteacher #eslteaching #eslstudents #proposals #suggestions #recommendations #teachingenglish #culturalcontext #meaningofwords #interpretation #learnsomethingneweverydayActivate to view larger image,

Hi, I'm Shweta

I coach non-native English speaking healthcare professionals how to advance in their career and build better relationships with their patients and colleagues by expressing themselves more articulately and confidently in the English language.

I work closely with healthcare professionals who work with patients regularly. I help them improve their communication skills when interacting with patients and colleagues, teach them how to show up authentically, assertively and articulately in their field of work in order for them to ultimately gain credibility, validation and respect.

If you work in a clinical role in the healthcare industry and would like to learn more about how to better connect and communicate openly with your clients / patients, book a complimentary 30 minute discovery call with me to see how I can best support you.

Shweta Ramkumar - English Language Confidence Coach