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  • Life skills tip of the week: ways of giving advice

    Posted by on September 16, 2014

    Macmillan Life Skills: language is a life skillLearning about pragmatics and how to express yourself successfully is a useful life skillsaid Michael Rundell in January when he introduced the new pragmatics series on Macmillan Dictionary. The series is part of the Macmillan Life Skills campaign, offering free resources for English language students and teachers each month.

    As part of the series, we’ll bring more useful content and tips from the Macmillan Dictionary on expressing yourself.

    This week’s language tip helps with ways of giving advice:

    You should/You ought to/If I were you/Why don’t you/It’s a good idea to: used when giving friendly advice:
    I think you ought to see the doctor about that lump.
    If I were you I’d stick with your job until something better comes along.
    Why don’t you just tell her the truth?
    It’s a good idea to check the weather forecast before you leave.

    You’d better: used when giving stronger advice:
    You’d better hear her side of the story before you decide.
    You’d better not drive if you’re feeling tired.

    Take it from me: used when giving advice that is based on your own experience:
    Take it from me, it’s not worth using one of those cheap car-hire companies.

    If you want my advice: used when offering advice to someone, even though they may not want to hear what you are telling them:
    If you want my advice, you should stay away from men like that.

    You would be well/better advised: used when giving advice in very formal and serious contexts:
    You would be well advised to consult a lawyer before committing yourself.

    Would you like to learn more about pragmatics? Keep a close eye on our pragmatics page; you can find the eighth life skills lesson plan there. For more information about Life Skills, visit the Macmillan Life Skills page.

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Recent Comments
  • Posted by Stan to Can you twig it? on September 16, 2014 Marc: I see it too, but to be brief: I may be biased in my belief.

  • Posted by marc leavitt to Can you twig it? on September 15, 2014 Stan: I twig to it, and I can see The Gaelic etymology.

  • Posted by Liz to Language tip of the week: till on September 15, 2014 Hi Jan. Thanks for your comment. While it is true that ’till’ is older than ‘until’, it is widely regarded as more informal. I don’t think this is a shibboleth and did not say that it was a clipping of ‘until’, just a less formal alternative. So we are not saying ‘till’ is wrong, we are saying it is less appropriate than ‘until’ in certain contexts, specifically formal or academic writing. Our evidence shows that ‘till’...

  • Posted by Jan Freeman to Language tip of the week: till on September 14, 2014 I'm very curious to know the basis of your claim that "till" is informal. It certainly is NOT inappropriate in the sentences you've marked with an x; I'm afraid you're spreading a shibboleth. Till (thus spelled) is an older English word than until, not a clipping. So what's your evidence?

  • Posted by Jonathan (IELTS Tutor) to Language tip of the week: risk on September 13, 2014 Thank you for these tips. I've always gotten my IELTS students to use macmillandictionary as word patterns are very important for English. I just found out that this section on language tip of the week is really good. I'll definitely get my students to read through all this. Keep writing. Cheers!

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