OK, Let's learn how to make suggestions in English. :-)

1 First person suggestions with let's or shall I/we

let's + infinitive:

  • Let's repair it ourselves.

    shall we is sometimes added at the end.

  • Let's get the paint today, shall we?
  • shall I/we + infinitive:
  • Shall we invite Mike to the party?

Suggestions with let's or shall we can be answered affirmatively by yes, let's.

  • a) Shall we see the film?
    b) Yes.
  • Examples:

  • a) Let's take the tent.
  • b) Let's not!

Or it can introduce a negative suggestion:

  • let's not arrive too late!

don't let's could also be used here:

  • Don't let's arrive too late!

2 First and second person suggestions

why don't we/you + infinitive or why not + infinitive/expression of time or place:

  • Why don't we meet in the park?
  • Why not meet in the park?
  • a) Where shall we meet?
  • b) Why not here?/Why not in the park?

In colloquial English what's wrong with/what's the matter with + noun could also be used:

  • What's wrong with the hotel?

what/how about + gerund/noun:

  • a) Where shall we sleep?
  • b) What about this hotel?
  • What about something cheaper?

suppose I/we/you + present or past tense:

  • Suppose you offer/offered to reward her?

3 First, second or third person suggestions with suggest or propose

suggest (+ possessive adjective) + gerund, or suggest that + subject + present tense/should.

propose is used in exactly the same way but is slightly more formal than suggest.
In the active, suggest + should + infinitive is more formal than suggest + a present or past tense.

  • I suggest (your) selling it.
  • We suggest that you should sell it. (formal)
  • propose that the secretary sends in/should send in a report, (formal)
  • I propose that a report (should) be sent in. (formal)

With should be it is possible in Formal English to omit the should, leaving the be alone , as shown above.

  Suggestions in indirect speech Suggestions can be reported by:

  • suggest/suggested (+ possessive adjective) + gerund, or
  • suggest that + subject + present tense/should, or
  • suggested that + subject + past tense/should, or suggest (any tense) + noun/pronoun:
  • Examples:
  • Mark suggests/suggested (our) having a meeting.
  • Mr Cox suggested a meeting.
  • Mark suggests that he sells/should sell his house.
  • Mark suggested that he sold/should sell it.