Word of the Day: propose

 
 
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Word Reference
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Word of the Day
 
October 26, 2015
 
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propose (verb) sound LISTEN icon
 
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Propose means to suggest or to offer an idea or plan, usually when you need approval from someone else. It may also be used when nominating someone for a position or role. When used without an object, propose means to offer marriage.
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Example sentences
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When John proposed a trip to Las Vegas, at first I thought he was joking.
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We’ve been studying for five hours. I propose we take a break and go for a walk to clear our heads.
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Our teacher was proposed as principal, which he considered a great honor.
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Thomas and Kate had been dating for almost 10 years when he finally proposed.
 
Words often used with
 
Propose is often followed by the preposition “to,” and means to ask a specific person to marry you. For instance “I proposed to Tina when we were in Venice."
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Additional information
 

When used to mean "suggest," propose is quite formal and is appropriate for business contexts. In informal speech, native speakers are more likely to use "suggest."

Propose is not normally followed by an infinitive when making a suggestion to others. Instead of "I propose to take a break" you should say "I propose we take a break" or "I propose that we take a break." Propose can be followed by an infinitive if you are talking about something you intend to do yourself, for example, "I propose to visit Mr. Smith tomorrow," but this would generally be considered too formal in modern speech. You might see it in written form, especially in older literature.

 
Other forms
 
proposal (noun), proposition (noun), propositional (adjective)
Origin
 
Propose derives from the middle French verb proposer, by association with derivatives of Latin prōpositus, past participle of prōpōnere (to set forth). 1805–15
 
 
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