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How to write a letter to ask for/give advice ?
Published in 01 mar 2016 by @marwen, viewed 142232 times, share this article with your friends.
Letters asking for or giving advice can be formal , informal or semi-formal depending on the situation. A letter asking for advice can be sent to a friend, a consultant or an advice column in a magazine. Details of the problem should be mentioned. A letter giving advice should contain suggestions introduced with appropriate language.
Asking for Advice Introduction Paragraph 1 - reason(s) for writing Main Body Paragraphs 2-3 - description of problem(s) Conclusion Final Paragraph - closing remarks Full name Useful Language for Letters Asking for Advice Opening Remarks: Formal - I am writing to ask if you could help me with - I would appreciate it if you could give me some advice about - I am writing to ask for your advice - I would be grateful if you could offer your advice - Could you possibly offer your advice - I wonder if you could help me with a problem
Informal - I'm writing to ask for your advice - Can you give me your advice - I've got a problem and I need your advice Closing Remarks: Formal - I would appreciate it if you could give me your advice as soon as possible - I look forward to receiving your advice - It would be of great help if you could advise me Informal - What do you think I should do? - Please let me know what you think I should do - Please tell me what to do
Giving Advice Introduction Paragraph 1 - thanks for letter/express understanding of problem Main Body Paragraphs 2-3 - suggestion(s) + reason(s) Conclusion Final Paragraph - closing remarks Full name
Useful Language for Letters Giving Advice Opening Remarks: Formal - Thank you for your letter requesting - I am writing in reply to your letter asking for advice about - I hope the following advice will be of some help to you Informal - I just got your letters and I think I can help you - I was sorry to hear about your problem. Here's what I think you should do Suggestions can be introduced with expressions such as:
Formal - I strongly recommend that - I would suggest that - I believe the best course of action is - I would advise you to - You should/You ought to/If I were you I would Informal - Why don't you - It would be a good idea to - What you should do is - How about.../I thin you should - The best advice I can give you is
Closing Remarks: Formal - I trust you will accept this advice - I hope this will be of help - I would very much like to know if this was helpful Informal - Hope this has helped - Let me know what happens
You can find further letters here: Letters in English, examples
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Give Personal Advice • Letter Templates and Guides
Personal advice should be given only when it is clear that someone has sincerely asked you for it. Even then it must be done with caution and sensitivity.
Letter Template #1
I am really honored you chose to come to me with your question. I have been thinking about you and Jane for a few weeks now. From where I stand it seems as though you two have come to an impasse. I can only recommend you spend some time apart. Often separation provides the perspective needed to know in which direction to proceed. You may not know this, but Suzanne and I separated briefly several years ago. She stayed with her parents for a few weeks. It really renewed our appreciation for one another. Time apart may not be the solution for you two. I can only tell you about our experience. Whatever route you take, I hope you will be able to work things out. You will always have my support.
Letter Template #2
Your recent letter describing your unpleasant work environment sounds as though you are experiencing a lot of frustration. I certainly understand your disappointment in not receiving a salary increase for the past two years, especially since your performance evaluations indicate that your work is better than satisfactory.
You asked advice about accepting a better-paying position with a rival company, but expressed reluctance about leaving a place where you have many friends. I can understand your dilemma. However, if the rival company is a local firm, you could consider changing jobs and still stay in touch with your friends. Those friendships could continue while you make new friends in a new work place. I think you need to take a long-range view and do what will give you the greatest professional advantage.
I am glad always to hear from you so please keep in touch and let me know what you decide.
Letter Template #3
I was up late last night thinking about our conversation concerning your dilemma. You certainly have given it considerable thought. I am concerned that there is an element missing from the process: The spiritual. Have you considered speaking with your minister about this? The consequences of a bad decision here are tremendous. Your minister may provide you with a "longer-term" perspective. I know spiritual guidance has been helpful in my life.
It's just something for you to consider. I only encourage you to try to see all sides before you decide. Good luck, my friend.
Letter Template #4
I am honored that you would ask for my advice regarding which college you should attend. I can only tell you about my experience attending State University in Springfield. I had a very good experience there; the computer science department is the best in the state and the classes are small and personal. Compared with many other colleges, the cost of tuition is low. The social life at State is fun but not rowdy. If you are planning to study computer science, I think it would be a good choice. If you plan to study something else, I am not the best person to give advice.
Of course, there are many personal factors you must consider, but State University was certainly a good choice for me. I wish you the best of luck and have every confidence that you will make the right decision for you. Please contact me again if I can be of further assistance.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Explain that you are responding to a request for advice about a problem or situation.
Sentences for Step 1
Phrases for step 1.
2 Give your advice or suggestions.
Sentences for Step 2
Phrases for step 2.
3 Explain the reasons why you feel the way you do.
Sentences for Step 3
Phrases for step 3.
4 Add a comment that releases the reader from feeling an obligation to follow your advice.
Sentences for Step 4
Phrases for step 4.
5 Close with a note of encouragement and confidence.
Sentences for Step 5
Phrases for step 5, recommended articles, recommended letter-writing resources.
An informal email – asking for and giving advice
Informal email giving advice, read the following informal email and check the different parts and the expressions used..
How are you doing? It’s lovely to have news from you. I’m glad to know that you are finally moving into your brand new apartment. I know you have been waiting a long time for this. And thanks for the invitation , of course we’d like to come . Anyway, I’m pleased to hear you have finally decided to visit the north of Spain, as I suggested you. You’re going to love it!
I think you should rent a holiday apartment and a car; that will give you much more freedom to explore the region at your own pace and convenience. You’ll see that the apartments are quite inexpensive. I’ll send you the details of the house we stayed in when we were there; it was nice and cozy. About the places to visit, you should visit the main mountain and beach towns. I’ll make you a list of the places we went to. I can’t now because I’m at work. And restaurants are easy. Why don’t you check which places have four or five stars on TripAdvisor? The food is always delicious!
Well, I hope this helps . I’m looking forward to visiting you next year. It’ll be great to meet again. Give my regards to Susan
Check the useful language.
➪ Greeting and signature or closing line. These are the first and last lines in an email or letter.
➪ Opening lines in the first paragraph and closing lines in the last paragraph.
➪ Responding to good news.
➪ Thanking your reader for an invitation and accepting it.
➪ Giving advice.
Structure and useful language
The greeting is used to address your reader. You can start with something like ‘Dear John’, but if you have a close relationship with the reader, there are some other expressions that you can use.
- Hi/Hello John,
- Hi there John,
Opening lines (paragraph one)
In the first paragraph you can start by asking about how your reader is. Here you have some sample sentences that may be useful.
- How are you?
- How are things?
- How have you been?
- How are you doing?
- How is life treating you?
- I hope you are doing well.
You can also make reference to their last email, apologise for not writing earlier, etc.
- Thanks for your last email/letter.
- It is nice/great to hear from you.
- It’s lovely to have news from you.
- Sorry for not writing earlier.
- Sorry that I haven’t been in touch for a while.
You can respond to good or bad news using the following sentences.
- (I’m) glad to hear about/that…
- (I’m) so pleased to hear about/that..
- (I’m sorry) to hear about/that…
Body of the email/letter (paragraph two)
In the second paragraph you should introduce the reason why you are writing. You can use some useful language such as:
- Anyway, the reason I’m writing is to/because…
- Anyway, I’m writing to/because…
- Anyway, I’m writing to let you know that…
- I was wondering if…
Ending the email/letter (paragraph three)
In the third paragraph (or fourth paragraph if the body of the email takes up two paragraphs), is where you basically say goodbye. Here you have some common language.
- Well, that’s all for now.
- (I) hope I can see you soon.
- I’m looking forward to seeing you/hearing from you soon.
- Give my regards to…
The signature is the closing words where you include your name. Here you have some common expressions.
- Lots of love,
- All the best,
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Letter of Advice [IELTS Writing]
Posted by David S. Wills | Mar 1, 2021 | IELTS Tips , Writing | 0
In the IELTS writing test, you may be asked to produce a letter of advice. This will require you to give advice to someone – typically a friend or family member. In this article, I will explain everything you need to know and give some sample letters.
What is a Letter of Advice?
As the name suggests, a letter of advice is a letter written to someone with the purpose of giving them advice about something. This may be a problem they face or a dilemma. You might have to help them make a difficult choice, such as whether to get a job or go on to further education.
The prompt may or may not say “give advice.” Sometimes it is strong implied or just stated through other words. It might say that the other person has “asked for advice” or it might tell you to “give them advice.” It totally depends on the situation.
How to Write a Letter of Advice
When writing a letter of advice, you need to consider the tone of the essay. In other words, is it formal or informal ? To be honest, for IELTS this sort of letter is going to be informal in 90% of situations. However, sometimes you might want to be a little cautious and go with semi-formal , particularly if the advice is on a serious matter.
You will also need to think about structure. There is no single formula for a letter structure but generally you should consider the following:
- An appropriate greeting.
- A short paragraph stating the purpose of the letter and why you are writing.
- Logical body paragraphs that address the bullet points.
- An appropriate sign-off.
You can read all about this in my book, A Complete Guide to IELTS Letters .
Next, we need to pick the right language for this situation.
Language for Giving Advice
When it comes to giving people advice, the most obvious phrase to use is “you should…” This is perfectly fine to use in IELTS, but we shouldn’t over-use it. You might also find that certain situations call for slightly more delicate language. In other words, you might not want to be too direct and so you soften your language when giving advice.
Here is an example:
- I think you should speak to your boss and tell him you are unhappy with your current duties.
This is perfectly fine, but we might soften it slightly by saying:
- Why don’t you speak to your boss and tell him you are unhappy with your current duties?
By making this a question, it is a little less forceful.
You can also use the word “could” to soften it even further:
- You could speak to your boss and tell him you are unhappy with your current duties.
This could be made even more delicate with “perhaps”:
- Perhaps you could speak to your boss and tell him you are unhappy with your current duties.
In very casual situations, you might use a question with “how about”:
- How about speaking with your boss and telling him you are unhappy with your current duties?
All of these are acceptable and there are only slight differences between them. Your choice will depend on the situation and your intended meaning.
Here are two example letters that answer prompts requiring advice.
You recently received a letter from a friend asking for advice about whether to go to college or to try to get a job. You think they should get a job.
Write a letter to this friend. In your letter
- say they would not enjoy going to college
- explain why getting a job is a good idea for them
- suggest types of jobs that would be suitable for them
Thanks for your recent letter. I’m glad to hear that you are doing well, and I think that it’s great that you have so many options for your future. You’re really lucky to have such a choice to make, but let me tell you why I think you should get a job rather than go to college.
Nowadays, everyone seems to be going to college. It’s become such a common thing that degrees and diplomas are actually being devalued and it’s the people who go out into the world and get a job that are succeeding. Aside from that, I know that you really hated school and could never seem to sit still long enough to get much value from a class. I just don’t see you really getting much out of college and so maybe you’d function better in a regular job.
You were great in all of our practical classes like woodwork, so why don’t you look into getting an apprenticeship as a carpenter or something like that? These people are making a lot of money nowadays and so it’s a useful skill to have. By the time everyone graduates from college and are fighting over the same jobs, you’ll be an experienced professional earning a great salary.
Think about it and let me know. I’ll support you whatever you choose to do.
This letter is written to a friend, so it is possible to use an informal tone, but because it is dealing with a serious matter it is probably better to use a semi-formal tone. Here, I have used some elements of informal language but overall there is a lot of neutral language. It is discursive and informative, giving advice in a careful way. Being too informal here might be inappropriate because it could potentially offend the recipient to hear that they are not right for higher education.
The main piece of advice is presented here, with a question:
- why don’t you look into getting an apprenticeship as a carpenter or something like that?
The show of support at the end is quite important after giving advice and would mean a lot as a kind gesture between friends.
A friend has written to you asking for advice about a problem at work. You have had a similar problem in the past.
Write a letter to your friend. In your letter
- tell your friend you understand the problem
- explain what happened to you in the past
- suggest possible solutions to the problem
I was sorry to hear that you aren’t getting along in your new job. I understand what you’re going through. Back when I started at my job, I experienced the same thing. Let me tell you a little about it.
When I first started working at the hotel, I really struggled to get along with my co-workers. They all seemed to gather in little cliques and it was hard to communicate with them because they didn’t seem interested in talking to me. I wouldn’t have minded, but it was affecting my work and, as the new guy, I was afraid I’d get fired.
In the end, I made sure that my work ethic was impeccable and so no one could complain about me. Then, I made greater efforts to reach out to my co-workers. I asked them questions to make them feel appreciated and spent some time with one or two of them outside of work to build a social connection.
Perhaps these things can help you, too. I really hope so.
Let me know how it goes.
This letter is addressed to a friend and so it should be written in a somewhat informal tone. It is about work, so perhaps semi-formal would also be acceptable, but you can see that I have chosen to use mostly informal language here. I have structured my letter casually but logically to fit the requirements of the task, giving a story about my own experiences. I have avoided the obvious language of “You should…” because it is a little direct. That is fine, but in this case I have given my advice more subtly by explaining my story and then saying “Perhaps these things can help you, too.”
About The Author
David S. Wills
David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural Cambodia and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. David has worked in many different countries, and for several years designed a writing course for the University of Worcester. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing and he has since written two other books about IELTS. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.
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English In The Real World
5 Simple ways to give advice in English
Giving advice in English might seem tricky at first. There are several ways to do it and each uses a slightly sentence structure. So, how do we choose which one to use? Find out with these five simple ways to give advice in English .
Use a modal verb
There are two modal verbs we often use for giving advice: ‘should’ and ‘ought to’. Both mean the same thing but work in slightly different ways. Let’s look at some examples.
What is your English level? Take our short English test to find out.
You should do more travelling. You shouldn’t drink so much beer.
As you can see above, after ‘should’ we use an infinitive without ‘to’.
You ought to do more travelling. You ought not to drink so much beer.
Unlike ‘should’, we always use ‘to’ in ‘ought to’ for giving advice.
Make it into a question
To make advice less direct, we can use a question to make the person we are advising consider about the advice we are giving them.
Why don’t you do some more tidying? How about doing some more tidying?
With the question ‘Why don’t you…?’ we use an infinitive without ‘to’. When we use ‘How about…?’ to make a question, we use a gerund after it.
Put yourself in the person’s position
If someone is asking for your advice, sometimes it’s useful to imagine yourself being in that person’s position. This is a good way to explain your advice, too.
If I were you, I would travel more
Remember to use an infinitive after ‘would’ and not ‘to’. To make this negative, put ‘not’ after ‘would’.
Make a suggestion
A suggestion or recommendation is another good way of giving advice that isn’t to direct. You can use the words ‘suggest’ or ‘recommend’ as in the example below.
I would suggest doing more of an effort. I would recommend doing this instead.
Use ‘verb+ing’ after ‘suggest’ or ‘recommend’ to explain your advice to the listener. To make these negative, put ‘not’ before your ‘verb+ing’.
Advise in a stronger way
Sometimes, you need to make your advice stronger to let the listener know that it’s really important. We can use the expression ‘you had better…’ to do this.
You had (You’d) better start working on your homework. You had (You’d) better finish this assignment in time.
We use an infinitive after ‘better’ to explain our advice and add ‘not’ after ‘better’ to make the sentence negative.
So, now you know how to give advice in English. Next time one of your friends is having some trouble, give them some advice in English and try out your new skills.
Wil is a writer, teacher, learning technologist and keen language learner. He’s taught English in classrooms and online for nearly 10 years, trained teachers in using classroom and web technology, and written e-learning materials for several major websites. He speaks four languages and is currently looking for another one to start learning.
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Writing Prompt ~ A Piece of Advice
Writing Prompt: The word “advice” is a very common word in spoken and written English. We always want to give each other advice. In English, this word is uncountable . You can offer “tips” (plural), but you can’t offer “advices”. You can offer advice , some advice , a piece of advice or even a word of advice . This is difficult for many English learners to remember. Here is a trick. Remember “advice” is like “ice”. It’s uncountable! Practice using the word “advice” by writing a letter to a friend. Offer advice about love, money, or education. Use the word “advice” as many times as you can.
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how are things going on in your life as I heard from your mother you need someone’s advice on education-related problems. well, you don’t need to be ashamed for asking about this to me because we were like a sister and we always give advice to each other in every stage of life. If you remembered when you gave me a piece of advice for tackling my situations. And now I am surely here for you for every bit of advice which you want. It is my advice not to hesitate in front of me.
Your Sister, Elisha
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A letter asking for advice can be sent to a friend, a consultant or an advice column in a magazine. Details of the problem should be mentioned.
How to Write an Advice Letter · Choose your words carefully. · Respond quickly to the request for advice. · Keep the tone respectful. · If you cannot give advice
Letter Template #1 ... I am really honored you chose to come to me with your question. I have been thinking about you and Jane for a few weeks now. From where I
Opening lines (paragraph one) · How are you? · How are things? · How have you been? · How are you doing? · How is life treating you? · I hope you are doing well.
Letter of Advice [IELTS Writing] ; An appropriate greeting. A short paragraph stating the purpose of the letter and why you are writing. Logical body paragraphs
Letters asking for or giving advice can be formal , informal or semi-formal depending on the situation. A letter asking for advice can be
Use a modal verb. There are two modal verbs we often use for giving advice: 'should' and 'ought to'. · Make it into a question · Put yourself in the person's
How to Write a Letter Offering Advice · Step 1. Analyse the question · 1. What is the topic of the letter you must write? · 2. What is the function of the letter
Apr 20, 2018 - If you have a friend who is soon going to take an important exam then writing a letter advising him about studies is a sweet gesture.
This is difficult for many English learners to remember. Here is a trick. Remember “advice” is like “ice”. It's uncountable! Practice using the word “advice” by