Vocabulary | English in Use


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English in Use

The Activities categorised as English in Use look at the way we use English in everyday life. The Activities cover the actual use of English and examine grammar, punctuation, and functionality of the language. For any student studying English as a second language or English as a foreign language, English in Use Activities are particularly useful for improving speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills. These Activities will help you to develop your confidence in using different types of text such as fiction, newspapers and magazines, as well as learning to speak and write about things such as the weather and travel, as well as preparing you for typical situations such as ordering in a restaurant or buying a train ticket.

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Rocío from Spain, and several other students, have asked me to recommend the best ways to use the word recommend. The verb recommend is used to offer suggestions as to what to do or where to go. We recommend things to others based on our personal experiences. I recommend that you do this lesson and see how we use this verb and I recommend that you take a look at this lesson if you have trouble using the verb recommend.   

From The OED on CD-ROM

recommend, v.1 (rɛkəˈmɛnd) 

[ad. med.L. recommendāre (1216 in Du Cange), f. re- re- + commendāre to commend. Cf. obs. F. recommender, an occasional variant of recommander to recommand v.1 (q.v.).] 

1. a.1.a To commend or commit (oneself or another, one's soul or spirit) to God, his keeping, etc. Also (rarely) without const. (Cf. commend v. 1.) 

   c 1400 Mandeville (1839) xvi. 177 Seyenge his Orysounes, recommendynge him to his God.    1418 in E.E. Wills (1882) 30, I recommend my saule to almyghty god.    1572 Huloet s.v., To recommende him selfe to God.    1611 Bible Acts xiv. 26 And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God.    1676 Ray Corr. (1848) 124, I recommend you to the Divine protection.    1711 Addison Spect. No. 7 ⁋6 When I lay me down to Sleep, I recommend myself to his Care.    1760–72 H. Brooke Fool of Qual. (1809) IV. 106, I recommended my spirit in a short ejaculation.    1791 Mrs. Radcliffe Rom. Forest ix, I silently recommended myself to God.    1883 Stevenson Treas. Isl. v. xxiii, I‥devoutly recommended my spirit to its Maker.

absol.    c 1489 Caxton Sonnes of Aymon xxviii. 576 He made the signe of the crosse vpon him and recomended to our lorde.

b.1.b (Chiefly refl.) To commit (oneself or another) to a person (or thing), or to some one's care, prayers, etc.

   In some cases perh. with implication of sense 4 c. 

   c 1386 Chaucer 2nd Nun's T. 544, I axed this at hevene king, To han respyt‥To recomende to yow er that I go Thise soules.    c 1400 Mandeville (1839) vi. 63 Than wil thei take leve of the Monkes and recommenden hem to here Preyeres.    a 1533 Ld. Berners Gold. Bk. M. Aurel. xlvii. 91 b, My sonne I recommend to the Helia thy stepmother.    a 1649 Drummond of Hawthornden Hist. Jas. V Wks. (1711) 92 He‥recommended himself to the sea in the spring time.    1713 Steele Guard. No. 17 ⁋8 He led her to a relation's house, to whose care he recommended her for that night.    1844 Lingard Anglo-Sax. Ch. (1858) I. vii. 310 [They] recommended themselves to the prayers of those who were distinguished by the austerity and sanctity of their lives.

†c.1.c To give in charge, consign, commit, submit (a thing) to a person or thing. Obs. 

   c 1586 C'tess Pembroke Ps. lxvi. viii, What I to praiers recommended, Was gratiously by him attended.    1590 Art. agst. Cartwright §25 in Fuller Ch. Hist. ix. vii. §27 After it was perused by others‥he recommended the same to the censures, and judgements of moe brethren.    1601 Shakes. Twel. N. v. i. 94 [He] denide me mine owne purse, Which I had recommended to his vse, Not halfe an houre before.

†d.1.d To communicate or report (a thing) to a person. Also without const., to mention. Obs. 

   c 1586 C'tess Pembroke Ps. lxxviii. ii, The thinges our fathers did to us commend, The same are they I recommend to you.    1599 Warn. Faire Wom. ii. 77 I'll leave you, sir, to recommend my thanks Unto your kind respective wife.    1600 Holland Livy xxxix. l. 1055 Some of them have recommended to posteritie‥that in this one yeere there dyed three renowned captaines.    a 1641 Bp. R. Montagu Acts & Mon. (1642) 119 Concerning him so to come, and to be incarnate, two things are recommended in this Prophecie.

†e.1.e To inform (a person). Obs. rare—1. 

   1604 Shakes. Oth. i. iii. 41 Signior Montano‥recommends you thus, And prayes you to beleeue him.

†2.2 a.2.a = recommand v.1 2. Obs. 

   1444 Paston Lett. I. 55 Your sonys and‥your brother arn heyle and mery, and recommend hem to yow.    1449 Ibid. 78, I recomend me hertily, thankyng yow for the tydings.    1529 More Dyaloge i. Wks. 107/1 As hartelye as I possible can, I recommende me to you.    1572 Huloet s.v., He recommendes him hartely to thee.

†b.2.b = recommand v.1 2 b. Obs. 

   1539 Cromwell in Merriman Life & Lett. (1902) II. 201 The same Bernard‥desired the said Christophor to aduertise your grace thereof and have hym recommended most humbly.    1773 Johnson Let. to Mrs. Thrale 24 May, Recommend me to the poor dear lady.

†3.3 To praise, commend: a.3.a a person. Obs. 

   1377 Langl. P. Pl. B. xv. 228 Riche men he recomendeth‥That with-outen wyles leden her lyues.    c 1400 Sowdone Bab. 919 He recomendide the olde Knightes That þat daye hade the victorye.    c 1477 Caxton Jason 6 Seeyng that Jason was somoche recommended of euery man.    1523 Ld. Berners Froiss. I. xi. 6 b/2 The fyrste‥was a good knyght, & greatly recommended.    a 1703 Burkitt On N.T., Matt. xxiii. 33 They continued in their own wickedness, and yet recommended the saints departed.

†b.3.b a thing. (Cf. 5 b.) Obs. 

   1705 Stanhope Paraph. II. 278 This glorious Testimony when Jesus had recommended as a Truth inspired from Heaven [etc.].    1738 Pref. J. Keill's Anim. Oecon. 43 [They] have generally recommended and extolled those Parts which they best understood themselves.

4.4 †a.4.a To commend to favour. Obs. rare—1. 

   a 1601 North Plutarch (1610) 1177 Nonius Asprenas, one of his greatest friends, was accused by Cassius Severus.‥ Augustus did not recommend him, but let the Senatours alone, who banished Cassius.

b.4.b To name or speak of (one) as fit or worthy to hold some position or employment. 

   1641 Nicholas Papers (Camden) 48 The King did many dayes since intimate who they were he would recommend, but none were declared untill this morning.    1784 Cowper Tiroc. 417 A king, that would, might recommend his horse.    1802 James Milit. Dict. s.v., It is a regulation, that none under the rank of field officer in the regulars, can recommend a person so circumstanced.

c.4.c To present or bring forward (a person) as worthy of notice, favour, care, etc. Const. to (a person, etc.), for (the thing desired). 

   1687 A. Lovell tr. Thevenot's Trav. i. 39 They [Turks]‥invocate their Saints, as being able to recommend them to God.    1703 Steele Tender Husb. iii. ii, Madam, may I‥recommend Mr. Gubbin‥to your Ladyships Notice?    1734 Swift Lett. (1766) II. 271 The trouble I gave in recommending a gentleman to your protection.    1830 D'Israeli Chas. I, III. viii. 162 [He] had been earnestly recommended by the Earl of Strafford to Charles.    1850 A. Jameson Leg. Monast. Ord. 65 Whom the abbess thought qualified for orders, she recommended to the bishop who ordained them.    1853 Dearsly Crim. Process 73 If‥the offender is a fit subject to be recommended for the royal mercy.

5. a.5.a To mention or introduce (a thing) with approbation or commendation to a person, in order to induce acceptance or trial. 

   1581 Mulcaster Positions xxxix. (1887) 196, I must recommend vnto them exercise of the bodie.    1647 Clarendon Hist. Reb. ii. §1 He would both recommend and enjoin the practice and use of both to that of his native kingdom.    1687 A. Lovell tr. Thevenot's Trav. i. 96 [Biscuits] which were recommended to me, as an excellent thing to drink a mornings draught with.    1728 Veneer Sinc. Penit. Pref. 7 Tho' I do not care to say much in order to recommend my book‥to such as are in the very gall of bitterness.    1781 Cowper Retirem. 541 O grant a poet leave to recommend‥Her slighted works to your admiring view.    1826 Disraeli Viv. Grey v. xv, Let me recommend you a little of this pike!    1863 Sat. Rev. 16 May 640 We will conclude by recommending his work to our readers.

b.5.b Without personal const. (Cf. 3 b.) 

   1714 Pope Epil. Jane Shore 34 He'd recommend her as a special breeder.    1725 De Foe Voy. round World (1840) 355, I take the liberty to recommend that part of America as the best and most advantageous part of the globe.    1781 Cowper Retirem. 388 For once I can approve the patriot's voice, And make the course he recommends my choice.    1820 Shelley Œd. Tyr. ii. ii. 22 Allow me now to recommend this dish.    1876 Mozley Univ. Serm. x. 231 Christianity and worldly wisdom‥both recommending the same course.

6.6 To make (a person or thing) acceptable. Also const. to. (Chiefly of qualities, circumstances, or things.) 

   1665 Boyle Occas. Refl. vi. vi. (1848) 360 Roses‥retain‥divers useful Qualities, and Virtues, that‥recommend them all the Year.    1712 Addison Spect. No. 418 ⁋3 There is yet another Circumstance which recommends a Description more than all the rest.    1782 Priestley Corrupt. Chr. I. i. 101 It was chiefly a wish to recommend their religion to others.    1832 Lewis Use & Ab. Pol. Terms iii. 21 A claim recommended by the practice‥of the constitution.    1863 Cowden Clarke Shaks. Char. x. 268 That man has little enough to recommend him whom women dislike.

refl.    1605 Shakes. Macb. i. vi. 2 The ayre nimbly and sweetly recommends it selfe Vnto our gentle sences.    1651 Hobbes Leviath. ii. xxx. 185 To recommend themselves to his favour.    1758 S. Hayward Serm. xvii. 535 A person of eminent rank greatly recommends himself to the esteem of his fellow-creatures when he appears affable and friendly.    1859 Mill Liberty i. 12 This view of things, recommending itself equally to the intelligence of thinkers [etc.].

7.7 To counsel, advise. a.7.a Const. to a person, usually with it as obj. (cf. 5) and appositive infin. 

   1746 Col. Rec. Pennsylv. V. 38 His Majesty has order'd me to recommend it to you‥to proceed immediately [etc.].    1749 Fielding Tom Jones xvi. viii, He‥recommended to her ladyship to do him the honour.    1818 Cruise Digest (ed. 2) VI. 203 She recommended it to him to do justice to B. and her children.

b.7.b Without personal const. (Cf. 5 b.) 

   1733 Pope Hor. Sat. ii. ii. 43 Let me extol a Cat, on oysters fed,‥Or ev'n to crack live Crawfish recommend.    1818 Jas. Mill Brit. India I. iii. iv. 606 [He] recommended, what was probably wise, to gain Nizam al Mulk by resigning to him Deccan.    1829 W. Irving Granada I. x. 85 He recommended, that the whole disposition of the camp should be changed.

c.7.c With personal obj., and infin. 

   1813 Jane Austen Pride & Prej. I. xviii. 217 Let me recommend you, however, as a friend, not to give implicit confidence to all his assertions.    1856 W. Collins After Dark, Yellow Mask II. 247, I recommend you to control your temper, and to treat me with common courtesy.    1877 Froude Short Stud. (1883) IV. i. ix. 103 He recommended the guardians to consult the king.

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