How to Give Advice in English

Published on April 14, 2021 | Updated on April 13, 2024

Giving advice in English can be complex at times since there are many ways to do so and I will cover them all in this lesson.

To be able to give advice or suggestions in English, you should:

  • State the problem or the situation
  • Ask for advice
  • Expect the listener to give a response

Now let’s check some ways to ask for advice and suggestions in English.

Ways to Ask for Advice in English

These are some common ways to ask for advice and suggestions in English.

  • What do you think I should do?
  • What should I do?
  • What do you suggest?
  • What do you advise me to do?
  • If you were me what would you do?

All of those questions can be answered in numerous ways so in the next sections you are going to learn about the most common ways to give advice or suggestions in English.

Suggestions with the Modal Should

You can use the modal should to give suggestions in English. The structure to give recommendation with should is the following:

She should work harder

These are some example of suggestions with should

  1. I think you should buy a new car.
  2. I am pretty sure that she should move to another country.
  3. It seems to me that you should pay her back as soon as you can
  4. I think that you have to offer a reimbursement

Now let’s check one more way to give advice and suggestions.

Suggestion with Ought to 

You can use Ought to to give advice in English. The structure to make sentences with ought to is:

Youought totrainharder
She ought towork harder

These are some examples with ought to

  1. You ought to do more exercise.
  2. You ought not to drink so much beer.
  3. You ought to phone your boss
  4. It ought to be easy now

Now let’s check how to give suggestions with had better

Suggestions with Had Better

This structure is common in spoken English and it is usually used in the contracted form.

  1. You’d better return the answers to the lecturer 
  2. You’d better not tell anyone that you found them 

Suggestions with Why Don’t you?

You can make questions to make a less direct recommendation

  1. Why don’t you do exercises more often?
  2. Why don’t you go a jogging?
  3. Why don’t we redesign the website?
  4. Why don’t you hire one more assistant?

Suggestions with the Second Conditional 

If I were you … is used when giving ADVICE about what you would do in the same situation as the other person

  • If I were you, I would move to Italy next year
  • If I were you, I would enjoy my vacation
  • If I were you, I would make that hotel reservation right now.
  • If I were you, I would talk to my supervisor

Suggestions with Would

A suggestion or recommendation is another good way of giving advice that isn’t to direct

Some Example of suggestions are:

  1. I would suggest playing less video games
  2. I would recommend resting more than 8 hours a day
  3. I would suggest taking a holiday
  4. I would suggest creating a business
  5. I would recommend changing the background color

Use Imperative to Give Advice in English

We can use imperative verbs + ‘-ing’ to give advice.

Check these advices given to a person who wants to be fit

  1. Start going to the gym
  2. Read more often to improve spelling
  3. Try running once at week
  4. Consider joining  a running team
  5. Try reaching customer support again

How about / what about + -ing?

These are some examples about how to make suggestions in English with How about?

  • How about opening a new store?
  • How about working overtime?
  • How about buying an SEO course?
  • How about opening a new agency?
  • How about making a whole new site?

Let’s … and Let’s not …

These are some examples about how to make suggestions in English with let’s.

  • Let’s hire a new software developer
  • Let’s talk to the manager about it
  • Let’s not do that
  • Let’s talk to Mike from support
  • Let’s create a website

Could and Can

These are some examples about how to make suggestions in English with could and can

  • Could you make more calls?
  • Can you postpone the meeting?
  • Can you find an easy fix for this problem?

Giving Advice in English: Situations

These are 3 situations that will help you practice how to give advice in English

Situation #1

I  visited my  Doctor  and he told  me that  I should  lose weight  so tell  me  what I can do since I don’t have  too much time  to  go to the Gym and  I never like to follow  a strict diet.

Situation #2

I am going to be hired by an American company so I have to move to the United States in less than a  year but the toughest part is  that I have to be proficient in English  so  tell  me what I should do in these few  months  to improve  it.

Situation #3

I am  just  a  high school graduate  but I don’t  know what major to  study  or  path to follow, my friends are  making quick decisions  and some of them  are attending  law school  and  medicine school  and I  don’t even know  where  to start, tell me  what I should  do   first

Advice in English = Short Conversation

This is a short conversation about giving advice in English

SarahHello Zeek
ZeekHi Sarah
SarahYou look sad, what happened?
ZeekI don’t understand Math and I have a test
SarahI don’t understand Math either
ZeekI don’t know what to do, I wanna pass this class
SarahWhy don’t we talk to Mike?
ZeekThat’s such a great idea
SarahMike is good at Math
Zeek I have his number

Manuel Campos

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English