Knowing whether to say “recommend me” or “recommend to me” can be confusing. Hopefully, this article will make things easier.
“Recommend Me” Vs. “Recommend To Me”: When To Use “To”
If you mention the thing being recommended first, use “to” (Recommend a book to me). But, if you say who the recommendation is for first, don’t use “to” (Recommend me a book). “Recommend a book to me” is incorrect grammar usage.
Throughout this article, I will refer to this as the “ThingGetter” vs “GettingThing” rule.
Recommend Is An Example Of A De-transitive Verb
For those of you who want to sound clever, the word “recommend” is what’s known as a “de-transitive verb”.
What this means is that a sentence with it requires a subject and two objects. As you may know, a subject acts, and objects are acted upon.
The subject is the person making the recommendation. The first object is what they’re recommending, and the second is who they’re recommending it to.
“I would recommend you eat cake”. Here, “I” is the subject, and “you” and “cake” are the objects.
Recommend X To Me
As we mentioned in the introduction, if the thing you’re recommending comes earlier in the sentence than the person you’re recommending it to, use the word “word”.
So, if I want a book recommendation., I would say “recommend a book TO me”. The thing (book) comes before the getter (me).
3 Examples Of Recommend X To Me
- Please could you recommend a good book to me? I have no idea what I want to read, and there are so many options out there”
- “Why don’t you recommend a movie to me? If you like it, chances are I’ll like it too”
- “If you can recommend a meal to me, I’ll cook it”
Recommend Me X
But, if you refer back to the introduction, you will notice that if who you’re recommending to comes before what you’re recommending, you should not use “to”.
“Recommend me a book”. “me” is who you’re making the recommendation to. and “book” is what you’re recommending.
3 Examples Of Recommend Me X
- “I am delighted that you’ve managed to recommend to me some really fantastic options.”
- “Can you recommend me a book? In can’t decide what to read”
- “I would recommend she goes back inside. It’s getting cold and she’ll be soaked”
Recommend Me To X
But sometimes “me” is not the person receiving the recommendation., but the thing being recommended. If I want someone else to know about me, I might ask you to recommend me.
Again, follow the ThingGetter or GetterThing rule. If you mention me, then who you’re recommending me to, use “to”.
3 Examples Of Recommend Me To X
- “If you think I’m so charming, why don’t you recommend me to your sister. She is single isn’t she?”
- “Could you recommend me to your boss? I really want a new job”
- “Don’t recommend me to him. He’s a weirdo, and I don’t like him”.
Synonyms For “Recommend”
If, for whatever reason, you don’t want to use “recommend”, perhaps to spice up your language a bit, here are some alternatives that you might find more fitting…
- Are there any books that you think I should read? I need to get reading!
- Could you put in a good word for me with your boss? I want a new job.
- Do you have any suggestions for what I should do tomorrow? I have a day off from work.
- What cake do you think is the best? I love cake, but I need to make the right choice!
ThingGetter Vs GetterThing Explained
If any of you are still slightly confused about the ThingGetter vs ThingGiver rule, hopefully, this next section will make it clearer.
To make it easier, I’ll underline the thing and make the getter bold.
If it’s ThingGetter use “to”.
“Recommend a book to me“
“Recommend me to your mother“
Because what you’re recommending comes before who you’re recommending it to, use “to”.
But if it’s GetterThing, don’t use “to”.
“Recommend me a book”
“Recommend your sister a bath”.
Because the receiver of the recommendation comes before the recommended thing, there is no good reason to use “to”.
I’m not going to act like this article has just made everything easy, and you will never make these mistakes again- it is complicated, and even English Language experts get it wrong sometimes. But hopefully, this article will have given you some kind of framework to work with.
Just remember if it’s GetterThing- use “to”.
If it’s ThingGetter, then do not use “to”.
You may also like: “Recommend To” or “Recommend For” – Difference Explained
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.