“Recommend” means to present someone as worthy of confidence or as something you might like. You might recommend a book, restaurant, company, employee, or friend to someone else.

We often use “recommend” in business because the word carries an official-sounding weight to it, like a stamp of approval. 

But using “recommend” in English can be tricky because it follows a pattern that differs from other English verbs, and from the way it is used in other languages.  

For example, in many foreign languages it is correct to say, “Can you recommend me a good lawyer?” Here, the indirect object, “me,” goes after “recommend” and before the direct object, “lawyer.” 

The opposite pattern is used in English.  

Here are 5 ways to use “recommend” correctly:

  • Can you recommend a good lawyer to me? 
  • Can you recommend me for the job? 
  • My friend recommended a good restaurant to his client.  
  • I highly recommend this book!
  • I highly recommend reading this book! 

Explanation: In each sentence above, “recommend” is followed by a direct object (lawyer, me, restaurant, book, and reading* (*reading is a gerund, which is a noun made from a verb)

Correct Usage of “Recommend” + Direct Objects in Questions 

What restaurant could you recommend for us?

Why do you recommend Larissa for the job? 

What time does Jamal recommend meeting for the conference call? 

Correct Usage of “Recommend” + Direct Objects with Negatives

The CEO doesn’t recommend that law firm for this deal. 

Aren’t the board members recommending a new policy? 

I recommend not settling the argument right now.