Giving advice

In this video, Paul and Bob try to help Noelia with a problem. Listen to the language they use for giving advice and practise saying the useful phrases.

Do the preparation exercise first. Then watch the video and do the exercises to check your understanding and practise the language.


Ana: Hi! I'm Ana. Welcome to What to Say

Do you know what to say when you give advice? Listen out for useful language for giving advice. Then, we'll practise saying the new phrases – after this.


Noelia: Argh, this is just ridiculous! 

Paul: Susan again? 

Noelia: Yeah, Susan. She just keeps emailing me about things that have nothing to do with work and nothing to do with me. What do you think I should do? 

Paul: Well, if I were you, I'd email and ask her to stop sending them.

Noelia: I'm not sure that's a good idea. I have to be careful what I say as she's quite an important client. 

Paul: Erm, I'm not sure then. Perhaps you could try talking to Yuna about it?

Bob: Er .. why don't you try doing nothing?

Noelia: Sorry? 

Bob: Perhaps you could just … do nothing? 

Noelia: Really? I'm not too sure about that.

Bob: Well, I remember this guy I used to work with, Mark, and he kept emailing again and again and again, about all sorts, mostly unrelated to work. Well, I kept responding politely and he kept sending them. In the end, I stopped replying to his emails unless they were only about work. 

Paul: And what happened? 

Bob: He stopped sending them. It's a bit like being faced with a dangerous snake. If you move quickly, it'll bite you, but if you keep very still and do nothing, eventually it'll move away and leave you alone. I had to learn the hard way. 


Noelia: Hey, Bob. Have you got a minute?

Bob: Yeah.

Noelia: So, I tried what you suggested and I only responded to Susan's emails about work for a few days. Then guess what?

Bob: The irrelevant emails stopped. 

Noelia: Yes! Now she only sends me work-related ones.

Bob: Well, that's very good news.

Noelia: All thanks to you, Bob.

Bob: Any time, Noelia, any time! All in a day's work. Ahh! 


Ana: Hello again! It looks like Bob is in Noelia's good books. So, did you notice the useful phrases used for giving advice? Listen to me and then repeat. 


What do you think I should do?

If I were you, I'd ask her.

I'm not sure that's a good idea.

Perhaps you could try talking to Yuna.

Why don't you try doing nothing?

I'm not too sure about that.

I tried what you suggested. 


Ana: Try and use some of these phrases the next time you give advice in English. Bye for now! 


Worksheet93.45 KB

Language level

Average: 4.1 (42 votes)
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Submitted by meknini on Sat, 16/07/2022 - 15:01


When I need advice, I'll look for someone wise and luckily I have one at home with me. I think he is Wizard of Oz as he knows all the right things to say and when to say them, and when to say nothing at all even when I keep pestering him to say something, he would just come out with hmmmm hmmm which could mean almost anything and most probably he's saying I am at fault without having to say so to my face.

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Sun, 13/03/2022 - 23:14


I would take advice from my boss to improve my skills in the work place.

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Submitted by vsanchez75 on Wed, 09/03/2022 - 22:49


Hi everyone, I want to ask some advices for me. I want to improve my english specially in speaking, i can understant the most of conversation when i talk with someone but when i try to respond, i feel slow without fluently, how i can improve that? I wait your advices, thanks

Hello vsanchez75,

It's hard for us to give specific advice without knowing how you speak at the moment. However, there are some suggestions which we can make which will help you to improve over time.

The most important thing you can do is to speak English as often as possible. To do this a partner is very helpful, so think about the people you know and consider if any of them could be a practice partner for you. It may be that you know someone else who is also learning English and who would like to practise with you, or perhaps you know some people who do not speak your language but do speak English. However, if you do not have a practice partner it does not mean that you cannot practise because it is possible to practise alone. Just speaking English to yourself while you are at home, going about your normal daily activities, can help a great deal with your fluency and can help you to feel more confident, which will help you to speak with less hesitation and more fluidity.

You can also use the audio and video materials here on LearnEnglish to improve your fluency. After doing the exercises, try listening with the transcript (listening and reading). Then try saying the text yourself, and finally try saying it with (and at the same speed as) the recording. This will help you to develop speed in your speech, which is a key component of fluency. You'll also pick up a lot of language as chunks – words which are often used together in set phrases – which you can use to communicate with less hesitation.


I hope those suggestions are helpful.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by LamVanPhuong on Fri, 29/10/2021 - 10:00


if i have a problem, i will look for someone that has experience about that. because i will have The most practical advice from them.

Submitted by GiulianaAndy on Fri, 02/07/2021 - 04:45

I ask for an advice to my closer friends and my closer relatives such my parents and I generally do it because I need some help with a problem or issue that I'm not able to solve on my own

Submitted by Ana maria Jauregui on Wed, 02/06/2021 - 00:00

I would ask for advise if I really didnt know how to behave in a situation or didnt know what answer to give to a certain person. I would hear what people i trust would have to say and try to choose the best option.

Submitted by lean on Sun, 04/04/2021 - 09:46

Hello everybody :-) I have a question about preparation exercise. In the step 2 there is a correct answer "If I were you, I talk to her". I'm interested is "I'd were you, if I talk to her " correct too ? Both sentences express almost the same thing, I'm interested about is the second sentence grammatically correct ? Thanks for responding

Hello lean,

Please note that the correct answer is 'If I were you, I'd talk to her.' I'm afraid that the form that you ask about ('I'd were you, if I talk to her') is not correct.

I'd suggest you have a look at our Conditionals 1 page to see an explanation of the second conditional form.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team