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

Upper intermediate: B2

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

Submitted by Leila77 on Thu, 11/03/2021 - 10:38

Most of the time, I ask my husband for advice because he is a wise man and I trust his opinion.

Submitted by Jack Milgram on Thu, 18/02/2021 - 08:46

Oh, well, usually I ask my best friend for advice because only he can talk some sense into me. And my mom is always ready to help me with cooking issues if I have them (I mean, I definitely have).

Submitted by German on Thu, 11/02/2021 - 01:14

I generally ask for advice to my friends or to my parents. Sometimes it's depend on the kind of the problem or situation in which I´m.

Submitted by Hennadii on Mon, 11/01/2021 - 10:35

Well, it depends on what kind of advice I need. I have lots of friends who are good at different themes. Some of them can help me with my job, some know much about the law or car repairment or so. My best friend helped me a lot when I renovated my flat. I just can imagine how could I cope without his advices. I think it's good quality - to understand your weakness and ask for help someone much experienced or skilled. Of course, I'm also ready to give advice when it needed. I - which is much important - don't give any advice if I wasn't asked )) Yeap, that's my superpower!

Submitted by fariba on Sun, 10/01/2021 - 08:24

i ask advice of my parent and my sister for my problems.

Submitted by fariba on Sun, 10/01/2021 - 08:22

i give advice many times.

Submitted by Riza on Tue, 05/01/2021 - 08:36

Most of the time when I got a problem or doubt about something I'd ask my parents or brother. I rely on them at any situations and sure that they might help me to overcome any difficulties.

Submitted by Dawn19 on Thu, 26/11/2020 - 13:30

When I'm buzzeld in my job, I usually ask my boss. In my private life I ask my husband because he agrees with me :). It's a joke! He, my husband, usually give me an other point of view and it helps solving the problem.

Submitted by Momocompanyman on Mon, 09/11/2020 - 11:01

Always, I ask my Dad because He is a wise man.

Submitted by habibao.medo on Mon, 19/10/2020 - 12:50

i ask my mom and my friend i think they will know what to do

Submitted by danisep on Sat, 17/10/2020 - 22:09

I have asked for advice from my older sister. I don't like to share my life with anybody. I'm a reserved person. I would like to have the trust to tell my problems and concerns to my parents but I don't feel confort doing that because I think they cannot keep a secret.

Submitted by Denise on Mon, 12/10/2020 - 16:46

Normally I ask my best friend for advise who is a very wise man or my líder from my church. They always have something helpful And amazing to say.

Submitted by Cami on Thu, 08/10/2020 - 11:57

When I need advises, usually I speak with my mother or my father. They quite all the times have given to me good advises, that I followed complete or only partially. Other times, instead, their adivses made me reflecting more about a solution for my problem and I managed finding it.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Mon, 28/09/2020 - 18:58

It depends: if it's an important and personal question (healt, money, etc.) I prefer to ask my relatives; but, about what concerns other subjects, less essential, I prefer to dog on my own.

Submitted by sindhallb on Fri, 04/09/2020 - 19:58

Nice experience ! Today I learnt which expressions I could use in a more polite way while giving suggestions

Submitted by Asni on Sun, 30/08/2020 - 23:13

Actually, it depends on the situation. I could ask my parents, my brother or my husband for advice. I ask for advice about almost everything, I like to discuss and know other people's opinion before making a decision even when I feel quite sure about something. Obviously, those people must be trustworthy, honest and kind of wise, who could help me make the right choice or decision.

Submitted by tounkara on Fri, 31/07/2020 - 18:26

I do usually ask for advice to my friends, parents and teachers depending on different issues.

Submitted by Allate on Fri, 31/07/2020 - 15:52

I generally ask for advice to my friends and family. Sometimes I can also ask for advice to my colleagues about ideas on lesson plans and activities. Asking for advice is useful,it helps you have a good appeciation of things before making a decision. Advice can help us avoid mistakes. I ask for advice because I want to make sure that I am on the right path when I have to do something.Asking for advice can also make me feel more confident.

Submitted by Saamongo on Fri, 31/07/2020 - 13:42

Good. I've learnt more sentences about giving advice such as: What do you think I should do? If I were you, I'd ask her/him I'm not sure that's a good idea. Perhaps you could try talking to.......... Why don't you try doing nothing? I'm not too sure about that. I tried what you suggested.  Thanks a lot Ana!  

Submitted by zaara2020 on Thu, 16/07/2020 - 15:55

I generally take advice from my teacher. He is a person who solves all my problems in a snap of time both related to personal and professional life or situations i deal with on day to day basis. He has immense knowledge and a great problem solver. I trust him for his
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