Life is not always as easy as it seems. There are gonna be moments when things turn out to be a can of worms. People might be stuck, lost and do not have a clue about what to do to solve all of it. A practical and useful piece of advice will be a totally helpful savior in this situation.

However, they say that “All that glitters is not gold”. Not all suggestions are right in the nick of time. Occasionally, advice given with good intention can inadvertently discomfort people. Inappropriate expression can be a reason. As a result, this article will help you out by demonstrating 5 common ways to give advice in English.

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Let’s get started!

1. Using modal verb “Ought to, should”

This is probably by far the most common expression used by all indigenous people and also the easiest to apply. These both carry the same meaning, nevertheless, please mind their differences in usage.

For example:

You should eat more vegetable. You should not (shouldn’t) consume too much meat.

You ought to eat more vegetable. You ought not to (oughtn’t to) consume too much meat.

2. Raising questions

To make a recommendation, I personally prefer raising a question to utilizing ought to” or should”. This way will be very useful when you do not want others to feel pressure about having to follow your advice. In many cases, people might be uncomfortable or defensive if they are given a suggestion they did not ask for. Raising questions would make things easier.

For example:

Why don’t you go and see her?

How about going out and have a drink?

3. Putting yourself into others’ shoes

The title might confuse you a little bit, but this is literally the way of using the form “If I were you, I would…”. By using this expression, people might be more open to take your advice. It creates an impression that you are not giving an advice. In fact, that was just like sharing your thought of what you would do, imagining you were in the same situation.

For example:

If I were you, I would ignore them and just do what I think was good for me.

4. Making suggestion or recommendation

Different from the above ways to give advice in English above, by making suggestion or recommendation, your intention will be more straightful, weighty and influential to others.

As to do this, you should make use of two common verbs which are “suggest” or “recommend”. There are 2 expressions used with each verb, therefore, you can pick either of them.

For example:

I suggest going to the mall.

I recommend going to the mall.


I suggest that we go to the mall.

I recommend that we go to the mall.

5. Giving the direct and strong advice

As to show people that you honestly want them to follow your advice, you can use the phrase “had better” to express your affirmative, serious status. This expression makes your suggestion much more influential. In addition, you can also specify the consequence to make the advice sounds more persuasive.

For example:

You had better leave before I call the police.

6. Tips to learn new words effectively

The above are some ways to give advice in English that used very often by native speakers. However, the article will not stop right here since in this part, I will share to you an ultimate tool that helped me a lot to learn vocabulary. Drum rolls for the one and only – eJOY eXtension –  a Chrome extension developed by eJOY team.

How to express regret in English
Using the eJOY eXtension to look up words while watching Youtube video.

With eJOY eXtension, you can feel free to look up words that you do not know while enjoying YouTube video or reading English articles, see how they can be pronounced. In addition, what is even better is that you can save all the words to learn and practice via many games to memorise them. It is very easy and simple to use, check out the instructions to eJOY eXtension for more detail.

Download eJOY eXtension for free

Not yet, as to speed up and make your new learning process more intuitive and lively, eJOY also has Word Hunt feature. Word hunt will help you search for video contexts that use your words, structures.
When checking a random word with eJOY eXtension, you will see an orange button “Say it” appear. Click on it, Word Hunt will list the videos that contain that vocabulary in the subtitles.

The "say it" button
The “say it” button

Do not forget to periodically review and practice using phrases and structures to give advice in English. Comment down below if you have any question. This will assist in making your communication skills to be more natural and fluent. Good luck!


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