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How To Give Advice Without Sounding Rude

It is very important when speaking English to pay attention to how you are perceived when speaking to other.
Even though you may not mean to sound rude; when speaking English, you should pay extra attention to how you form your sentence so that you are always as polite as possible.When using the infinitive form, suggestions will usually sound more like a command… and Americans typically don’t like to be told what to do. Its just not polite:

Example- A friends complains about a toothache

Impolite Response:
You’d better brush your teeth regularly

Polite Response :
If you want to avoid having to see a dentist, its probably best that you brush your teeth regularly.

Asking for advice:

  • I’ve got a bad headache… what do you suggest?
  • I think I’m getting fat… what do you think?
  • What do you advise me to do?
  • What should I do?
  • What ought I to do?
  • What’s your advice?
  • If you were me what would you do?

Giving advice

  • If I were you, I would take a Tylenol.
  • Why don’t you go to the dentist?
  • You ought to/should avoid eating sweets.
  • If you take my advice, you’ll go to the dentist.
  • It might be a good idea to brush your teeth on a regular basis.
  • I advise you to brush your teeth on a regular basis.
  • Have you thought about seeing a dentist.
  • You probably should go on a diet.”
  • “Why don’t you come running with me?”
  • “How about going for a run?”
  • “If I were you, I’d do some exercise.”

Keep in mind that people don’t want to be told what to do and try to present the idea in a non-authoritative manner.

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