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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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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