Writing Rules: Mr Miss Mrs Ms

Writing Rules: Mr, Miss, Mrs, Ms

Writing Rules: Mr Miss Mrs Ms

Writing Rules: Mr, Miss, Mrs, Ms. You may have heard of Mr., Miss and Mrs., but have you heard of Ms.?

History of Ms.

The idea of Ms was originally presented by publishers as early as the 1900s who wanted to avoid embarrassment by mistaking a woman’s status. It wasn’t until the 1960’s, however, that Sheila Michaels supported the idea of using Ms as a way for women to not have to be identified by their marital status. Read more about Sheila Michaels. Ms. was later used as the title of a famous feminist magazine in the US in 1971. Take a look at the online Ms Magazine here. However, Ms was not used in the New York Times until the 1980s. Today, the term is used quite frequently.

MR.

  • Used to formally present or address a man.
  • You can use Mr. with or without the man’s last name.
    • I would like to present Mr. Smith.
    • I met Mr. O’Donnell yesterday.
  • Used to formally address someone in a letter or email, especially if you do not know the person’s name.
    • Dear Mr. Potter,
    • Dear Mr. Harry Potter,

MISS

  • Miss has previously been used to refer to someone of a younger age.
  • Today we use Miss to refer to an unmarried woman, young or old.
  • As with Mr, use Miss with or without the first name.
    • Miss Philips will address the crowd at the concert this weekend.
    • Dear Miss Anita Jones,

MRS.

  • Previously, Mrs. related to an older woman.
  • Today we use Mrs. to refer to a married woman.
  • As if the case with Mr and Miss, use Mrs. with or without the first name.
    • Mrs. Patel is presenting the awards tonight.
    • Dear Mrs. Lucy Johnson,

MS.

  • Use Ms. To address a woman when you do not know her marital status.
  • Women who may not want you to know their marital status may also use Ms.
  • It is quite common today for someone to use Ms.
    • Hello Ms. Hintz. I would like you to meet my partner Mr. Williams.
    • Dear Ms. Rita Brown,

PRONUNICATION

It is quite important to know the difference between Miss, Mrs. and Ms.

  • Pronounce the ‘s’ in Miss like the ‘s’ in snake
  • Mrs is pronounced as if it was written misses,
    • the first S sounds like snake, but the second sounds more like a z in buzz
  • Pronounce the ‘s’ in Ms with a ‘z’ sound only.

Writing Rules

Now that you have seen Writing Rules: Mr Miss Mrs Ms, take a look at our other writing focused posts:
Emails: we can do better
Frequency adverbs in less than 5 minutes

Expression Session: Actions speak louder than words

B2 C1 English idioms: Actions speak louder than words

Expression Session: Actions speak louder than words

B2 C1 English idioms: Actions speak louder than words is a great idiom to use when you want to tell someone nicely that they don’t actually follow the same rules that they are insisting everyone else follow.

Actions speak louder than words

  • What you do is more important and shows more clearly what you think than what you say
  • This idiom is often used to gently tell someone that maybe they are not following the rules themselves or so say that you will believe what they say when they start actually doing it.
    • If you want everyone to show up on time, you also need to do it. Actions speak louder than words, you know.
    • He says that he would like everyone to be respectful, but actions speak louder than words.

Expression Session

Now that you have seen B2 C1 English idioms: Actions speak louder than words, take a look at our other Expression Session posts.
Expression Session: Call someone out
Expression Session: Have a ball

Cursos de inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Comercio de Álava, tenemos cursos para todos los niveles.

  • Cursos de preparación de exámenes de Cambridge y Oxford
  • Cursos de Inglés General
  • Business English
  • Oxford Test of English – somos un centro examinador de Oxford. Aprender más sobre el exámen de Oxford here.

B2 C1 C2 Synonyms for MAKE

As you can see, there are many B2 C1 C2 Synonyms for MAKE, so take your English up a notch and learn how and when to use these words. Note that some of these words may have other meanings, but we are only addressing their meanings related to make.

assemble

  • To build something by joining parts
  • It’s common to use assemble for toys and cars.
    • I love assembling LEGOs and puzzles. I find both activities to be really relaxing.
    • The car was assembled in Vitoria.

build

  • to make something by putting parts and materials together
  • This is often used to talk about buildings, construction, etc.
    • They knocked down the old building to build a new mall.
    • They are beginning to build the train station that will connect the new neighborhood to the center.

construct

  • to build something using different pieces.
  • This is also very common for buildings and construction.
    • This building was constructed in 1920.
    • We are constructing a new garage next to our house.

create

  • to make something exist
  • Create can be used in many different areas, such as buildings, clothing, technology, etc.
    • She created the design herself when she was in her 20s.

design

  • A drawing that shows how something will be made.
  • Machines, buildings, clothes and other objects can be designed.
    • Frank Loyd Wright designed a number of mansions in the north side of Chicago.
    • Most of her clothes were designed by famous designers.

develop

  • to make something new, usually over a period of time.
  • Develop can be applied to ideas, concepts and products
    • Scientist are developing new drug treatments for cancer every day.
    • We are constantly developing new ways of doing business.

erect

  • to put up a structure
  • Erect is also used with buildings, structures and anything that can be put up.
    • The church was erected in the 1800s.
    • The city erected a statue in honor of the fallen solders.

fabricate

  • to construct using various parts
  • This is mainly used in the US to speak about parts or clothing.
    • Only the largest part were fabricated in the company.
    • They searched high and low for cheaper fabrics and eventually found a wholesale place to fabricate the suits.

invent

  • to design and/or create something new
  • This can be used for ideas, objects, technology, etc.
    • My nephew has invented a new video game and is looking for someone to purchase it.
    • I wish somebody could invent a machine that would clear the table and put all the dishes in the dishwasher.

manufacture

  • to produce something, usually in large quantities and in a factory.
  • This is used with cars, products, toys, etc.
  • All of the cars sold in Europe are manufactured in that factory.
  • They are manufacturing small pieces that are used in airplanes.

produce

  • to make or grow something
  • Usually used with cars, plants and any products.
    • The plant produces flowers every year.
    • The company produces over a 1,000 pieces a month.

put together

  • to put the separate parts of something together in a joint way.
  • Anything that has pieces can be put together.
    • The larger pieces are manufactured, but then all the parts are put together manually.
    • We are putting together a LEGO this weekend that she got for her birthday.

B2 C1 C2 Vocabulary

Now that you have reviewed B2 C1 C2 Synonyms for MAKE, check out our other Vocab Rehab posts:
Vocab Rehab: bias
Vocab Rehab: the difference between Lend and Borrow

Cursos de inglés

Tenemoas classes de inglés para todos los niveles e interesas.

  • Cursos de preparación para los examenes de Cambridge
  • Cursos de preparación y examenes de Oxford. Somos un centro certificado.
  • Cursos de negocios In-company, online y presencial en la Cámara de Álava
  • Cursos de inglés general y de conversación

¡Pónte en contacto con nosotros!  ☎ 945 150 190 📧 idiomas@camaradealava.com 

B2 C1 C2 English Expressions: come to terms with something

B2 C1 C2 English Expressions: Come to terms with something

Today we present B2 C1 C2 English Expressions: Come to terms with something. This is an expression that can be used in various settings. You can use it at work, at home or with a friend.

Come to terms with something

  • To gradually accept and deal with a difficult or sad situation
  • Sometimes we use it as a suggestion or a comment about someone’s process of dealing with this difficult situation
    • My family needs to come to terms with the fact that I am moving to another country.
    • She seems to be coming to terms with the death of her husband.
    • The company needs to come to terms with the changing landscape.

Now that you have seen B2 C1 C2 English Expressions: Come to terms with something, check out our other posts:
Expression Session: Make the most of it
Expression Session: Get your hopes up

Cursos de inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Comercio de Álava tenemos cursos de inglés para todos los niveles.

  • Tenemos clases de inglés general, para negocios y para la preparación de examanes de Cambridge y Oxford.
  • Te podemos preparar y certificar tu nivel de inglés de A2, B1 o B2 con el Oxford Test of English.
  • Aprender más sobre el examen de Oxford pinchando aquí
English Business Idioms

English Business Idioms

Knowing English Business Idioms is a great way to get ahead in business today.

Idioms – definitions and examples

Ballpark number/figure

  • means a very inexact estimate
  • The ballpark refers to a baseball field, which is big and and hard to estimate due to its size.
    • To give you a ballpark figure, the work is going to cost, I’d say about 230.000 euro

Big picture

  • Everything that is involved with a particular situation.
  • Since a big picture is … well… big, you have to stand back to see all of it at once. If you go too close, you may only see part of it.
    • While working on all these finer details, we have lost sight of the big picture

By the book

  • To do things exactly according to the rules or the law.
    • We confirmed to our lawyer that we do everything by the book, the accountant has nothing to worry about.

Cut- throat

  • Very intense, aggressive, and merciless competition.
  • If you literally cut someone’s throat, they would die. So, the idea is that if something is cut-throat, it is ruthless.
    • Competition in the retail trade is so cut-throat, it’s very difficult for local traders.

Keep one’s eye on the ball

  • To give something one’s full attention.
  • Again, this is a common expression used in baseball. We say it to the batter who needs to watch closely the ball in order to hit it.
    • We should not diversify our product range, instead we should keep our eyes on the ball and concentrate on our core market.

Raise the bar

  • set standards or expectations higher.
    • The iphone definitely raised the bar in the smartphone industry.

Red tape

  • bureaucracy, official rules and processes that seem excessive.
    • There seems to be so much red tape involved in exporting to an un-EU country.

Sever ties

  • To end a business relationship.
  • Sever means to cut and we often refer to ties as connections. So, severing ties means severing relationships.
    • We had to sever ties with our supplier when we heard they had been using child labour.

Now that you have learned out English Business Idioms, take a look at other Business English related posts.
Expressions Sessions : Signposts for Presentations in English
Business emails

Vocab Rehab Vocabulary Synonyms for scary

Vocabulary: Synonyms for scary

Vocab Rehab Vocabulary Synonyms for scary

Stop using boring words like scary and start using these exciting Vocabulary: synonyms for scary. You can use these words to talk about movies, TV series, a story, etc. Instead of saying ‘That movie was scary’, say ‘That movie was spine-tingling!’ Impress your friends and start speaking like a native.

Vocabulary

Spine-tingling

  • very exciting, thrilling or frightening.
    • Anthony Hopkins gave a spine-tingling performance in Silence of the Lambs.

Spooky

  • Haunted or related to spooks (ghosts)
    • I can’t go into that spooky house. I’m too frightened about what I may find.

Ghastly

  • Terrifyingly horrible, intensely unpleasant.
    • There was a ghastly crime committed here four years ago.

Chilling

  • Gravely disturbing
    • The story about how he was kidnapped and held as a hostage was chilling.

Hair-raising

  • causing terror, excitement or astonishment (that your hair stand up)
    • The Handmaid’s Tale is a hair-raising TV series that was based off of a book.

Unnerving

  • Causing you to be nervous and upset.
    • Watching the fight and not being able to stop it was quite unnerving.

Petrifying

  • Overwhelmingly frightening
    • Being trapped inside the small room with no windows or way out was petrifying for me.

Creepy

  • annoyingly unpleasant or alarming.
    • The creepy old man followed us for almost 20 minutes before I called the police.

Eerie

  • Mysterious and strange
  • I had this eerie feeling that I had seen her before.

Bloodcurdling

  • Causing freight or horror
    • The idea of being caught in a natural disaster is bloodcurdling.

Now that you have learned this Vocabulary: Synonyms for scary, I suggest taking a look at our previous Vocab Rehab lesson:
Vocab Rehab: Nombres no contables a contables

You may also be interested in How to carve a pumpkin. This is an easy and fun way to celebrate Halloween at home.
You can also listen to our Halloween podcast of off the cuff 2020 off the cuff: episode 3 Halloween.

Sign up for an English course with your Bloglish teacher in the Camara de Comercio de Álava here.

expressions sessions eggs

Expressions Sessions – Idioms with eggs

Expressions with the word egg.

  • to egg someone on – to urge someone to do something, especially if it’s negative.
    • Stop egging him on. He doesn’t have to jump if he doesn’t want to.
  • to be a good egg – a good and reliable person.
    • She always has her homework done. She’s a good egg.
  • to be a bad egg – a person who does bad things
    • He’s such a bad egg. He’s always lying and hurting people.
  • egg on your face – to feel embarrassed because of something silly you did
    • The government really ended up with egg on its face due to this latest scandal.
  • to put all eggs in one basket – to put all your success in one person, action or plan in a risky way.
    • I don’t like to put all my eggs in one basket so I diversify my stock options.
  • to walk on eggshells – to be very careful not to offend or hurt someone.
    • I’m always walking on eggshells with him because he upsets easily.
  • to have a nest egg – some money saved to spend on a certain occasion.
    • We have a nest egg saved up to travel to Mexico next year.

Vocab Rehab – Common Problems in meetings

There are lots of reasons why we all hate meetings. But by avoiding some of these common traps, you can have meetings that are efficient and effective. Don’t forget to read the definitions and examples below the post!

  • Late starts – when the meeting begins after the scheduled time.
    • Looks like it’s going to be another late start for today’s meeting. Joe is still not here!
  • Over-runs – when the meeting fails to finish at the scheduled time.
    • We can’t have another over-run at tomorrow’s meeting because I have to leave at the scheduled time.
  • Groupthink – the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group, resulting typically in unchallenged, poor-quality decision-making
    • Hiring a more diverse staff is a great way for our company to shy away from this model of groupthink that is halting our innovation.
  • Hidden agenda – when someone has a secret agenda or intentions
    • I feel like there is a lack of transparency occurring. He always seems like he has a hidden agenda and it makes me not trust him.
  • Inadequate preparation – attending a meeting without preparing beforehand the necessary information to discuss the topic at hand.
    • It’s clear that there was a level of inadequate preparation that took place and that’s why we were unable to reach any real decisions on the day of the meeting.
  • Communication barriers – things that make people reluctant to share and/or talk
    • There is a clear communication barrier taking place between the manager and his team. I think they are afraid to say anything in case of getting fired.
    • We need to find a good translator or hire someone who speaks fluent German in order to get past the communication barriers we are facing with our international partners.
  • Communication breakdowns – misunderstandings
    • Knowing the language but not understanding the culture and the meanings behind that language can cause some severe communication breakdowns that can lead to real disputes in meetings.
    • We are having some real communication breakdowns because the employee job descriptions are not clearly outlined.
  • Point-scoring – when there is competition between colleagues for attention, a new job, recognition, etc.
    • I’m so annoyed with Janet and Dave continuously trying to point-score with the boss during the meeting. I don’t know why they can’t share the success of their work.
  • Pulling rank – when someone uses their status to get what they want
    • Although most of us voted to move the deadline back a week, the boss pulled-rank and said that we needed to maintain the original date.
  • Time wasting – causing someone to spend time doing something that is unnecessary or does not produce any benefit.
    • Reviewing information in a meeting that could be given in an email is a time wasting method of information sharing.

False Friends: career and degree

False Friends: Career and Degree

False Friends: career and degree. Oh how much do we hate those False Friends – the words that sound exactly like a word in a different language but has a different meaning. It sounds like it’s a friend, but it’s not. Curse you False Friends!!!

CAREER – PROFESIÓN / TRAYECTORIA

  • Career in English is a job that you have been doing for a long time (not your university studies)
    • Before her career in social work, she was a banker.
    • He’s finally retiring after a 40 year career in marketing.

DEGREE – CARRERA

  • a qualification given for finishing a university course
  • degree is the correct translation of ‘careera‘ in Spanish.
    • He has a degree in education.
    • Although he got his degree in History, he’s working in politics.

FALSE FRIENDS

Not that you had a look at False Friends: career and degree, have a look at our other False Friends posts:
1. Vocab Rehab: False Friends: Terrific and terrifying
2. Vocab Rehab: False Friends: Suburbs and slums
3. Vocab Rehab: False Friends: Sensitive and Sensible
4. Vocab Rehab: False Friends: Comprehensive and Understanding

Cursos Inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Comercio de Alava, tenemos cursos de inglés para todas las necesidades y niveles.

  • Preparación de exámenes de Cambrdige, EOI, Oxford A2 a C2
  • Business English desde A1 a C2
  • Inglés General A1 a C2
  • Cursos de Conversación
English Vocabulary: strive

English Vocabulary: Strive

English Vocabulary: strive. Strive can be a complicated word to use because it doesn’t actually collocate with a wide variety of words. And although some people may translate it as ‘tratar’ or ‘esforzarse’ in Spanish, it doesn’t actually capture the full meaning of the word. In situations like these, it’s good to see examples and the words that it does collocate with in order to apply the word correctly.

STRIVE

  • to try very hard to achieve or accomplish something
  • strive + infinitve
    • She strives to do her best in everything she does.
    • We are always striving to learn new things to apply at our jobs.
  • strive + for + noun
    • If he continues to strive for perfection, he will wear himself out.
    • Their slogan is ‘Strive for excellence’.

COLLOCATIONS WITH STRIVE

Strive + to + infinitive + something

  • strive to____ something
    • achieve
    • be
    • become
    • (not) die
    • do
    • (not) fail
    • improve
    • (not) lose
    • offer
    • provide
    • succeed at

Strive + for + something

  • strive for ____
    • excellence
    • greatness
    • perfection
    • success

adverb + strive

  • ____ strive
    • always
    • constantly
    • continuously

Vocab Rehab

Now that you’ve seen our post about English Vocabulary: strive, check out our other Vocab Rehab posts:
Vocab Rehab: bargain
Vocab Rehab: inclusive language

Cursos inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Comercio, tenemos cursos de inglés para todos los necesidades y niveles.

C1 Advanced Writing

C1 Advanced Writing

C1 Advanced Writing

C1 Advanced Writing. In part 2 of the CAE C1 Advanced Cambridge exam, you have the option of choing between writing a report, a letter or email, a review or a proposal. It can be confusing, knowing what to put and where. Here I have reduced the information into categories to help you remember.

REPORT

  • In reports, remember to add:
    • a title and sub-headings for each paragraph
    • formal or neutral style as reports tend to be for work
    • a beginning that clearly states the reason for writing the report.
    • Finish off the report with a conclusion or a recommendation that specifically addresses the reson for writing the report.

PROPOSALS

  • In reports, be sure to include:
    • a title and subheadings for each paragraph
    • a formal or neutral style
    • a clear argument that has reasons and examples backing it up. Remember RED.
    • persuasive language which is key to writing the proposal.
C1 Writing Proposals

LETTERS OR EMAILS

  • for letter and emails, be sure to include:
    • the receiver’s name in the correct style (use Mr, Ms, Miss or Mrs + full name for formal letters. Use person’s first name for informal ones.
    • a formal, neutral or informal style depending on who you are writing to.
    • correct openings and closings (Dear, Good Morning, Sincerely, Thanks, etc)

REVIEWS

  • For reviews, remember to add:
    • an interesting title
    • formal or neutral style
    • an interesting fact, a question or an antecdote to begin the review in order to capture the reader’s attention
    • your opinion and back it up with clear examples.
    • some factual informal
    • persuasive language if want the reader to do read, listen, shop, etc to what you are writing about.
C1 Writing Reviews

WRITING TIPS

I can’t stress enough how important it is to go back and re-read your writing. The most common errors to check for are:

  • Subject-verb agreement (singular or plural)
  • articles (a, the, some)
  • prepositions 
  • use of correct tenses
  • word order 
  • spelling mistakes
  • over-all flow and organization of your writing.

WRITING RULES

Now that you have read C1 Advanced Writing, take a look at our other Writing Rules posts:
Writing Rules: Formal and Informal
Writing Rules: Giving Advice

English Expression: Level the playing field

English Expression: Level the playing field

English Expression: Level the playing field. This week in class we are talking about inclusive language. This is hard to do with idioms, as they are notoriously not inclusive. In the example given today, someone may say that it is NOT inclusive because it uses sports and so you may need to understand baseball, in this case, to understand the meaning. However, I am using it today because I think it has an important message.

LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD

  • Make a situation equal so that everyone has the same opportunity
  • Adjust a situation so that everyone has the same chance of succeeding.
    • Quotas were created at businesses to level the playing field for women.
    • In order to level the playing field, we need to make the class financially accessible to everyone.

A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD

  • Conditions that allow everyone to have the same opportunity to succeed in a situation.
    • It’s not a level playing field. How can children play in the same tournament as adults?
    • We have put quotas in place in order to create a level playing field.

English Expressions

Now that you have seen English Expression: Level the playing field, take a look at our other Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: turn over a new leaf
Expression Session: have skeletons in one’s closet

Cursos inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Alava, tenemos cursos para todos los niveles y necesidades para mayores de 16 años.

English: Inclusive language

English: Inclusive language

English: Inclusive language

English: Inclusive language. As society evolves, so does language. It’s important to make sure that you are using language that is inclusive and does not discriminate against individuals in and out of the office.

INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE

  • language that does not discriminate
  • language that represents different people in a positive way

GENDER INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE

  • to refer to the male and female workers in your business, use workforce, personnel or staff.
    • There are 200 men and women that make up our worforce.
  • manpower is a sexist word that refers to a time when women did not work. It also sounds as if men are powerful and women are not.
  • Other examples of gender inclusive language includes saying ‘Hello everyone’ instead of ‘Hello guys’ to refer to women and men.
  • please stop calling women over the age of 18, girls. They are women. Calling them a girl sounds as though they are innocent or incapable.
    • Women make up 50% of the Board of Directors.
  • Refering to men and women as female or male staff members/members of staff is also an acceptable,
    • The male members of staff are requesting a new changing room.

Inclusive language for people with disabilities

  • Disabled member of staff or a person with disabilities, although is not a great alternative, it is what we have as of November 2023.
    • If we want to invite Arantxa for lunch, we need to make sure that our house is accessible for someone with a disability.
  • Handicapped and differently-abled were both terms that were used at one point and are no longer seen as positive.
  • Know someone who has a disability? Ask them how they prefered to be called.

Age inclusive language

  • nobody wants to be called old, so stop using this word and use elderly to talk about people over the age of 70.
    • The elderly are often excluded from society.
  • For those staff members who are up in age, try experienced worker, senior worker or senior member of staff.
    • Our senior workers are our most valuable members of staff.

Inclusive language about one’s sexual orientation

  • Don’t asume that the person in front of you is married and that they are to a man or a woman. Instead of asking about their husband or wife, ask about their partner.
  • Don’t asume a man dates a woman and vice versa, ask if they are dating anyone.
  • There exist lots of different ways in which LGBTQ+ liked to be addressed. If you aren’t sure how to address someone, ask them.
  • Again, if you aren’t sure how to address people at work, at a bar or at the dinner table, ask them.

Vocabulary in English

Now that you have seen English: Inclusive language, have a look at our other Vocab Rehab Posts.

Cursos inglés

En la Escuela de idiomas de la Camara de Comercio tenemos cursos de inglés para todos los niveles y necesidades.

English Expression: turn over a new leaf

English Expression: turn over a new leaf

English Expression: turn over a new leaf. This seems like the perfect idiom for this time of year when the leaves on the trees are falling. Turning over a new leaf means starting fresh and changing your behavior.

TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF

  • to say that someone is beginning to behave in a better, kinder way.
  • to behave in a positive way
    • I’m so glad that you spoke to Sarah. She’s really turned over a new leaf and even seems happier in her job.
    • You can’t expect him to just turn over a new leaf if he doesn’t even know that he is behaving poorly. Talk to him.

Expression Session

Now that you have seen English Expression: turn over a new leaf, take a look at our other Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: have skeletons in one’s closet
Expression Session: bear in mind

Cursos de inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Comercio de Alava, tenemos cursos para todos los niveles y necesidades. Para poder inscribirte en un curso o para recibir información, pinche aquí.

  • Cursos para principiantes, nivel A1 y A2, inglés general y de negocios
  • Cursos de preparación de exámenes de niveles A2, B1, B2, C1 y C2
  • Inglés para negocios (grupales, individuales, presencial y online)
  • Conversación, nivel B2, C1, C2
Giving advice in English

Giving advice in English

Giving advice in English

Giving advice in English. There are only a few occasions when you should be using ‘have to’ with someone.

  1. You are a parent and you are telling your children what to do (and this concept is debatable)
    • You have to clean your room before you leave this house.
  2. You are telling your friend in an exaggerated way what they need to do because it was fun, exciting, entertaining, etc.
    • You HAVE TO see the last season of Stranger Things!
  3. You are seriously concerned about someone.
    • We have to go to the emergency room now!

If you are not in one of these three situations, then stop telling people in English what they ‘have to do’. This is a strong statement for us and is usually used for children. So, when speaking or writing to adults, employees, etc, I soften my advice by using some of the following phrases. Why? Because they are adults and can make the best decisions for themselves. And yes! This included employees.

I RECOMMEND / SUGGEST…

  • A polite way of giving advice to someone
  • 1 Form: Person + recommend/suggest + gerund
    • They recommend printing the file instead of sending it by email.
    • She suggests charging them before sending anything out.
  • 2 Form: Person + recommend/suggest + noun
    • My doctor doesn’t recommend those pills for pain.
    • Lucia suggests the white one because it is lighter.

I WOULD RECOMMEND / SUGGEST…

  • A more polite way to give advice.
  • 1. Form: Person + would recommend/suggest + gerund
    • I would suggest calling the store first to see if it’s still open before you take a ride over there.
    • I wouldn’t recommend eating there. It hasn’t got very good reviews.
  • 2. Form: Person + would recommend/suggest + noun
    • I wouldn’t recommend the beef to anyone. It was not their best dish.
    • I think a doctor would suggest time off for that type of injury.
  • Use the adverbs highly or stongly to give strength to your statement.
    • I would highly recommend checking with your doctor before trying that medication.
    • She would strongly recommend Paul’s garage for any problems you may have with your car.

IF I WERE YOU…

  • A way of giving advice based on what you would do if you were in their situation.
  • Form: If I were you + I + would + infintive (without to)
    • If I were you, I would finish send the email out before the end of the day.
    • If I were you, I would talk to my boss before jumpling to any conclusions.

HAVE YOU TRIED…

  • An inoffensive way of asking what someone has already done.
  • Form: Have you tried + gerund
    • Have you tried turning it on and off again?
    • Have you tried calling their main line and asking to speak to him directly?

Writing rules

Now that you have seen Giving advice in English, take a look at out other Writing Rules posts.
Writing Rules: I’m writing
Writing Rules: Gerunds that follow to

Cursos inglés

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English Expression: Have skeletons in one's closet

English Expression: Have skeletons in one’s closet

English Expression: Have skeletons in one’s closet. It’s Halloween time, so let’s take a look at this very Halloweeny idiom.

HAVE SKELETONS IN ONE’S CLOSET

  • to have a secret about something bad that you have done in the past
    • I’m not sure I trust him. I think he has some skeletons in his closet.
    • We all have skeletons in our closets. I promise I won’t judge you if you tell me them.
  • to have a secret about something embarrassing that happened to you in the past.
    • Don’t bring up all my skeletons in the closet in front of John. It’s too embarrassing.
    • Nobody’s family is perfect. They all have skeletons in the closet.

SKELETONS IN THE CUPBOARD

  • Has the same meaning as skeletons in the closet.
    • I don’t like talking about my skeletons in the cupboard.
    • He never talks about himself. I think he has some skeletons in his cupboard that he doesn’t want to talk about.

Halloween vocabulary

Now that you have seen English Expression: Have skeletons in one’s closet, take a look at our other Halloween-based posts:
How to carve a pumpkin
Vocab Rehab: synonyms for scary
Podcast: off the cuff: Halloween!

Cursos inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Comercio, tenemos cursos de inglés para todos los niveles y necesidades. Ponte en contacto con nosotros: idiomas@camaradealava.com