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Asking for and giving advice

Zagrebački poduzetnički centar otvara vrata u ožujku

People tend to be hesitant when it comes to asking others for advice. It is because they believe that asking somebody for help might make them appear weak, incompetent or not experienced enough. Alternatively, seeking advice may lead to awkward situations where the advice giver is trying to impose a point of view that is not in any way suited to your needs. Nevertheless, exchanging and brainstorming ideas can help you do things more quickly and easily.

Here are some of the questions you might ask when you have doubts about what to do or how to proceed or when you simply what to hear someone else’s opinion.

  • What do you suggest (that) I do next?
  • What do you recommend to mitigate operational risks?
  • Could you recommend an alternative?
  • Could you suggest a good restaurant for lunch with our clients?
  • What’s the best way to manage risk?
  • Do you think we should change the name of the department?
  • Do you know if we can negotiate the interest rate?
  • Do you have advice on how to get a job?
  • What’s your advice for dealing with difficult clients?
  • What would you do if your boss gave you a week’s notice?
  • What should I highlight at the Board meeting?
  • Should I place the order by the 17th?
  • Do I need to sign here?

When using the word advice, remember that this word cannot be preceded by one, a or an. Therefore, do not say *Let me give you an advice. or *Let me give you one advice., but rather Let me give you some advice. or Let me give you a piece of advice. Furthermore, the plural form *advices does not exist in English. I you what to count how many ideas someone has shared with you, you can say, for example, He gave me two pieces of advice.

Just as someone might be reluctant to ask for advice, people are sometime careful when giving advice. It might be for fear of not providing the other side with relevant and useful information or perhaps not wanting to have any responsibility if something goes wrong. Below are some common phrases used when you are willing to give someone advice.

  • I think that you should start looking for a new job.
  • You should go on holiday for a few weeks. You’ve been working so hard.
  • You need to calculate the number of hours you work each day.
  • You could try a different product or brand.
  • You’d better call the client immediately.
  • Make sure you don’t miss the deadline
  • I don’t think you should order more products.
  • Why don’t you leave me your phone number so I can call you back?
  • How about the energy consumption by 20 percent?
  • Have you thought about talking to you boss about it?
  • If I were you, I would increase the price by at least 10 percent.
  • If I were in your place, I wouldn’t invest money in that fund.
  • My advice is to take a taxi.
  • My suggestion is to try to sell it at a lower price.
  • My recommendation would be to negotiate a better salary.
  • I would advise that you check the numbers again.
  • I would suggest that you send her an email.
  • In my experience, it’s better to pay a little bit more for better service.
  • The best thing to do is discuss it at a meeting.
  • It is usually a good idea to do some research before making a decision.
  • One idea is to reduce the gas tax.
  • One thing you could do is change the window display.
  • Whatever you do, always do your best!


Notice the difference between the noun advice, pronounced əd’vais, used in the questions and the verb advise, pronounced əd’vaiz, in the answers.

Autorica je Jasminka Šturlić, prof. engleskog i talijanskog.


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