Using the word advice

February 11, 2014pdf

The word advice is an uncountable noun. Uncountable nouns do not have plural forms. They cannot be used with the articles a/an.

He gave me some advice. (NOT He gave me an advice.) (NOT He gave me advices.)
Incorrect: Let me give you an advice.
Correct: Let me give you some advice.
Incorrect: She was always there to give great advices.
Correct: She was always there to give great advice.

To refer to a single item of advice, you can use the expression ‘a piece of advice’, ‘a word of advice’ or ‘a bit of advice’. However, these expressions are not very common. Advice is mainly used on its own.

If you are worried about your symptoms, contact your doctor for advice.

The expression some advice is very common.

I really need some advice.

Don’t confuse advice and advise. Advice is a noun whereas advise is a verb.

Incorrect: I would advice you to quit smoking.

Correct: I would advise you to quit smoking.

Ways of giving advice

In English, we use several different expressions to give advice.

Examples are:

You should act more responsibly.

You ought to consult a doctor.

If I were you, I wouldn’t let this happen.

Why don’t you consult a doctor?

It is a good idea to invest in real estate.

All of these expressions are used when giving friendly advice.

The expression you’d (= you had) better is used to give strong advice.

You’d better consult a doctor.

Take it from me

This expression is used when you are giving advice based on your own experience.

Take it from me, it isn’t worth buying a cheap laptop.

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