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Unit 9 Advice


Culture Learning Questions


1 Do you give advice to people in your own culture?

2 How do you usually give advice people? On what occasions? What do you usually say if you cannot give any advice?

3 Do people in your own culture usually follow the advice given to them or not? / Do you follow advice when given?

4 How do you react when your advice is not followed by a person?


Cultural Note


In English-American culture it is very important when and to whom one can give a piece of advice. There are certain phrases and expressions for giving advice: I’d like to ask for your advice on this…, or more often I’d like to know your opinion / what you think about this, or sometimes in conversations I’d like to pick your brains (on this), etc. In this culture it is not expected that a person who has been given advice should follow it. Quite the contrary, a person will listen to your advice and then will do as he /she thinks he /she should. In a conversation people from English-American culture try to avoid phrases and expressions like: Let me give you advice / a piece of advice/ Listen to me. Usually the following phrases and expressions are used: If I were you, I would … I think you should… Why don’t you… I advise you to… I suggest that you should… Maybe you should… It wouldn’t hurt you to… It wouldn’t kill you to.. Could I make a suggestion? Would you mind if I made a suggestion? Would you like me to show you how to… Would you like me to give you…? Would you like to know how…? I have an idea if you’d like to hear it?

People from other culture do not listen to advice very attentively as they think that a person should solve his /her problems him /herself. As a rule phrases and expressions for giving advice are used in subjunctive mood:

If I were you; Perhaps you might (consider saying such and such); Why don’t you try to…; It might not hurt to / be a good idea to… A person who gives advice usually says at the end of the conversation in the following way: But, after all, it’s up to you; It’s your decision; That’s just what I would do; In the last analysis, it’s your problem; You’ve got to decide this for yourself; You’ve got to live with this decision.

People disapprove the advice given to them if they do not ask for it. Besides the phrases and expressions to ask / seek / get your advice, the verb to consult is often used.

I’d like to consult my thesis advisor before submitting this article to a journal.

If she is still in pain next week she’ll need to consult a neurologist.

The Russian expression Íå ñäåëàòü ëè áû âàì… is rendered

What if you were to / What about your doing…. Perhaps you might do /think of/about/ consider doing…

There are some more useful phrases giving advice:

Take it easy.

Relax. informal; used only among friends

Don’t panic

Take your time.

Don’t take it (too much) to heart.

Remarks like The label is sticking out the back of your sweater èëè Your pants are torn /split in the back are not given to a chance passer-by / encounter in this culture as they sound quite rude and tactless.


Asking for advice:

Can you give me any advice? What should I do?

What do you suggest /recommend /advise?

I’d like to know your opinion / what you think about this?


Giving advice:

You ought to… I advise you to + verb

I suggest that you + verb Why don’t you…?

If I were you, I’d… You’d better (not)…

Maybe you should… Would you mind if I made a suggestion?


Accepting advice:

Thanks for the advice. That sounds like a good idea.

Thanks. I’ll do that. Yes, I suppose I’d better / I should…

I think I will. I think / Perhaps you’re right.


Rejecting advice:

Thanks, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. Thanks. I’ll think about it.

Thanks, but I’m not so sure. I think that would be a mistake.

I am afraid I can’t / it’s too late / I can’t afford it / to / it’s not allowed.


Cross-Cultural Interaction


1 Study the following conversation between Jeff and his father. Find one place where Jeff asks his father for advice. Find four places where his father gives him advice. Act out this conversation.


Jeff: Hi, Dad.

Dad: Hello, Jeff. How are you?

Jeff: I’m fine, Dad. How’s Mom? Did she get over her cold?

Dad: Yes, she’s fine now. She went back to her work yesterday.

Jeff: That’s good. Um, Dad, I need to ask you something.

Dad: Sure, son, what is it?

Jeff: Well, uh, the truth is, I’m broke again. Could you lend me $200 until the end of the month?

Dad: Broke again? Jeff, when you moved in with Nancy, you said you could make ends meet. But this is the third time you’ve asked me for help!

Jeff: I know, I know, I’m sorry. But my old guitar broke, and I had to buy a new one. I can’t play on a broken guitar, right?

Dad: Look Jeff, if you want to play in a band, that’s OK with me, but you can’t keep asking me to pay for it.

Jeff: OK, OK, you’re right. But what do you think I ought to do? Everything costs an arm and leg.

Dad: Well, first of all, I think you had better go on a budget. Make a list of all your income and all your expenses. And then it’s simple. Don’t spend more than you earn.

Jeff: But that’s exactly the problem! My expenses are always larger than my income. That’s why I need to borrow money from you.

Dad: Then maybe you should work more hours at the computer store.

Jeff: Dad! I already work 15 hours a week! How can I study and work and find time to play with my band?

Dad: Come on, Jeff, when I was your age…

Jeff: I know, I know. When you were my age you were already married and working and going to school…

Dad: That’s right. And if I could do it, why can’t you?

Jeff: Because I’m not you, Dad, that’s why!

Dad: All right, Jeff, calm down. I don’t expect you to be like me. But I can’t lend you any more money. Your mother and I are on a budget too, you know.

Jeff: Maybe I should just drop out of school, work full-time, and play in the band in the evenings. I can go back to school later.

Dad: I wouldn’t do that if I were you…

Jeff: Ueah, but you’re not me, remember? It’s my life!

Dad: All right, Jeff. Let’s not argue. Why don’t you think about this very carefully and call me back in a few days. And in the meantime, you’d better find a way to pay for that new guitar.

Jeff: Yes, Dad.

Dad: Good-bye.

Jeff: Bye.


2 Advise someone (your friend / co-worker / neighbour, relative etc.) who says to you:

1) I’ve got a terrible headache. 2) I’m nearly always late for work. 3) I’m afraid I shall fail my English exam. 4) I don’t know where to spend my holiday this year. 5) My work is very boring and low-paid. 6) I’ve put on five kilogrammes in the past month. 7) The baby has a high temperature. 8) I’ve lost my mobile phone.


3 Give advice to your fellow-student / relative / friend / co-worker, etc.:

1) to read more English books in original; 2) to go and see a doctor; 3) to take a taxi (to the airport); 4) not to eat too much / to go on a diet; 5) not to worry so much; 6) to eat more fruit; 7) to give up smoking; 8) to work harder


4 Role-play. With a partner, role-play one of the following situations. Use expressions from the chart.

Situation 1: Person A is spending more money each month than he or she is earning. Person B gives suggestions for helping Person A to manage money.

(Example: Don’t use credit cards).

Situation 2: Person A bought a DVD recorder and paid cash for it. Unfortunately, he or she didn’t keep the receipt. Two days later the DVD recorder broke. Person A asks Person B for advice on how to get his or her money back.

Situation 3: Person A doesn’t trust banks and keeps all his / her money in a box under the bed. Person B explains why this is a bad idea and gives Person A advice about safer places to keep money.

Situation 4: Person A, an American student, is planning a vacation to person B’s home city. Person A asks Person B for advice on ways to have a good time without spending a lot of money. (Example: Person A asks about inexpensive places to stay and eat).





Ex. 4, p. 14

a) “Really? No problem. Don’t worry.” b) “Congratulations! Well done!

c) “That’s terrific!” d) “Oh, it’s nothing for you.”

e) “Was it difficult? That’s disgraceful!”

Ex. 7, p. 16

Anna: Anna Maria Cassini, but most people call me Anna. And you? / And what’s your name?

Nancy: Really? Your English sounds great!

Nancy: Mmm – hmm. So why are you going to take this test in English?


Ex. 1, p. 27

1) offer; 2) initiate; 3) encourage; 4) offer; 5) repetition; 6) summarize; 7) offer; 8) encourage; 9) ask; 10) going back to earlier topics / encourage


Ex. 2, p. 36

1) summarizing; 2) correcting misunderstanding – checking ideas; 3) holding your turn; 4) correcting misunderstanding – checking words; 5) asking for focused explanation; 6) delaying the answer; 7) asking for focused explanation; 8) holding your turn; 9) correcting misunderstanding – checking ideas; 10) holding your turn


Ex. 5, p. 40

Summary of dialogue: Moy is a little embarrassed that he hasn’t had time to look at Dan’s designs. He also realizes that he won’t have time to look at them before tomorrow afternoon. He is not sure how to express this information politely in English. He needs time to think before he replies to Dan’s question. Unfortunately, while Moy is thinking, Dan hears only long silences. Dan becomes very uncomfortable with this silence, and he thinks Moy must be annoyed or angry.

Here is an example of effective conversation between Moy and Dan:

Dan: “Hello, Moy? This is Dan.”

Moy: “Oh, hi, Dan. How are you?”

Dan: “Fine, uh…have you had a chance to look over the designs I left on your desk?”

Moy: “Uh… well… to tell the truth, I didn’t get to them.”

Dan: “Oh, that’s’ okay. Will you have a chance to take a look at them this weekend?”

Moy: “Uh… this weekend? I think…uh… I can look at them tomorrow afternoon. Can I call you tomorrow night?”

Dan: “Sure. Talk to you then.”

Moy: “Okay. Good-bye.”

Dan: “Bye”.


Ex. 11, p. 43

Well; in a way; it all depends…; I’m not sure / certain; I think so; I’m not quite at all certain; I couldn’t say for sure; if I remember rightly; you were…, weren’t you? I wasn’t at the lecture yesterday; If I’m not mistaken.


Date: 2015-01-12; view: 1339

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