In this episode we’re going to help you to make recommendations and suggestions correctly in English.
Audio feedback: Gabriel from Tijuana Mexico says Hi
Gabriel also wrote a message on the website inglespodcast.com (I think it’s the same Gabriel from Tijuana)
Hi Reza and Craig,
I´m Gabriel from Tijuana Mex, I just want to say thanks for your podcast, the last one was great,
and I need to tell you that the first ones when you started this project where horrible, I feel (felt) that I´m (I was) in a bored (boring) class, but right now they are great!!!!!
My last words for you are, thanks and continue with the podcast, you are amazing guys.
I will continue hearing (listening to) you every time that I can.
Audio Feedback: Adrian sent us an audio message on speakpipe.com/inglespodcast from Costa Rica – “can we talk about the word THE and when to use it”
We spoke about The definite and indefinite article, A, AN, THE, ZERO with Bea in Episode 41
Email Feedback: Francisco Espínola Sanchez from Úbeda, Jaen
Hi friends, how is it going?
The aim of this e-mail is to share some ideas and experiences with the listeners.
For example, for the last three months I have been working on my English improvement in a different way.
Neither academies, nor boring grammar books, nor that kind of stuff.
Now I just do three activities: listening to podcasts intensively, reading English literature and occasionally, doing language exchange (using skype or head to head (face to face), when it´s possible).
I carry on listening to your podcast loyally, every week. What´s more, I have found some interesting podcasts.
One is Luke´s English podcast, who is friend of yours, isn´t he?
This one requires some effort at the beginning, as Luke speaks faster than you, but it´s worth trying it.
I would say that AIRC (Aprender Inglés con Reza y Craig) is more academic and Luke is somehow like a TV comedian, so both podcasts together are the perfect team!
This way, I can get at least three new episodes or so every week, so I keep continuously active.
In combination with bilingual books, this method is really working to (for) me, I feel my English improving one day after another, so I would encourage the AIRC listeners community to try it.
In my case, I am learning without noticing it at all! I have got the FCE and the next target is the CAE!
By the way, do you know Úbeda?? It´s an UNESCO world heritage city in the province of Jaén (I am consciously promoting tourism for my hometown 🙂
Well, sorry for the endless e-mail (and for mistakes) and thank you very much for your commitment, have a big hug!!
Francisco recommends (listening to) Luke’s podcast. He suggests we listen to it.
I hear a lot of mistakes with the verbs to recommend and to suggest from my Spanish students
You CANNOT say:
I suggested him to listen to our podcast.X
With SUGGEST (proponer/sugerir) we can say:
I suggest (that) he listens to our podcast.
I suggest (that) he listen to our podcast (no 3rd person singular “s” = subjunctive – more common in formal American English)
I suggested listening to our podcast
There are 2 more formal and less common constructions that may be tested in an advanced exam:
I suggested him/Paul listening to our podcast
I suggested Paul’s/his (possessive=very formal) listening to our podcast
With RECOMMEND (aconsejar, recomendar) we can say:
I recommended him to listen to our podcast. (X
You can’t say “I suggested him to listen….X)
I recommended (that) he listen/listens to our podcast.
I recommended (him/his/Paul/Paul’s) listening to our podcast
I recommended that he should listen to our podcast
I recommend hiring a builder to do up your flat rather than trying to do it up yourself.
I suggest you get a few quotes and compare prices before you make a choice.
I’d like to recommend some YouTube channels to you:
Simple English Videos – Vicki Hollett: https://www.youtube.com/simpleenglishvideos
Learn English with Papa Teach Me: https://www.youtube.com/papateachme
Amigos Ingleses – Philip and Isabel: https://www.youtube.com/AmigosIngleses
Daily videos posted on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mansioningles/
Improve your speaking with an italki teacher
Other ways of making suggestions and giving advice
Why don’t you…….? (+infinitive without ‘to’)
What/How about…..? (+gerund/noun)
You could (always)….(+infinitive without ‘to’)
It’s a good idea to….(+infinitive) “It’s a good idea to subscribe to our newsletter at inglespodcast.com ( http://www.inglespodcast.com/ )
You might want to…..(+infinitive) “You might want to subscribe to this podcast.”
Perhaps you could/should….(+infinitive without ‘to’)
Have you thought about…? / have you considered….? / Have you tried….? (+gerund/noun)
If I were you, I’d…(+infinitive without ‘to’)
One thing you could do is…..(+infinitive without ‘to’)
Shall I/we…..? (+infinitive without ‘to’) NB. Only possible with “I/we”
Do you fancy……? (+gerund/noun) – “Do you fancy a cup of tea?”
Have you tried….? (+gerund/noun) “Have you tried carob chocolate?” (carob = algarroba)
Giving strong advice:
You must / have to….
Asking for advice
What should I do?
What do you suggest?
What do you advise me to do?
What’s your advice? (‘advise’ is a verb, ‘advice’ is a noun)
If you were me, what would you do?
What problems are you facing at the moment?
Changing from a paper diary to a digital one.
Saying no to new projects (time management)
getting used to wearing new glasses
Putting on weight around his belly
Breathing too loudly into the microphone
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English. Do you have a question for us or an idea for a future episode?
Send us a voice message and tell us what you think. https://www.speakpipe.com/inglespodcast
Send us an email with a comment or question to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
If you would like more detailed shownotes, go to https://www.patreon.com/inglespodcast
Our lovely sponsors are:
Zara Heath Picazo
Juan Leyva Galera
Corey Fineran from Ivy Envy Podcast
Manuel García Betegón
Daniel Contreras Aladro
On next week’s episode: How to Tell a Story in English
The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’
FULL TRANSCRIPTION very kindly written by Arminda from Madrid (Thank you so much!)
In this episode, we are going to help you make recommendations and suggestions correctly in English.
Hello and welcome to “Aprender inglés con Reza y Craig”. If you’re a new listener to this award winning podcast you’re very welcome. With over 40 years of teaching between us, Craig and I hope to help you improve your English and take it to the next level. Yes, we’re going to grow your grammar, vocalize your vocabulary and help you perfect your pronunciation. First, we have some audio feedback from Gabriel from Tijuana, Mexico, who wants to say Hi!
Hi, Hi guys! Thanks for your podcast. Is wonderful! This is Gabriel from Tijuana. Thanks for all! Bye!
Well, thank you Gabriel for saying Hello, and I think you also wrote a message on the website inglespodcast.com. I think: How many Gabriels can there be from Tijuana, not many, who listen to us.
No, we’re just going to presume it‘s the same person.
Yes, so we think it’s you Gabriel so, can you read his email, Reza?
Hi Reza and Craig,
I´m Gabriel from Tijuana, Mexico. I just want to say thanks for your podcast, the last one was great, and I need to tell you that the first ones when you started this project where horrible. He writes: I feel, but maybe it should be past, I felt that I am, no, I was in a bored, no a boring class, boring class, but right now they are great! My last words for you are: thanks and continue with this podcast, you are amazing guys! I will continue hearing, listening to is better, listening to you every time that I can.
Oh! Thank you, Gabriel.
Yeah! Thanks, Gabriel. That’s lovely to hear and I agree with you, I think in the beginning before you started doing the podcast with me; I’m sure Gabriel is thinking about when I did it by myself, which was like eight years ago now and yeah! It was really boring. It was just me speaking about grammar. So, when Reza started and we began doing it together I think it got a lot better. Yeah! I agree with you Gabriel, thanks for your message.
Thanks, Gabriel. I think we have some more audio feedback from Adrian now.
Yes, he’s Adrian from Costa Rica who asks about the word “the” and when to use it.
Good morning guys, my name is Adrian, I’m from Costa Rica and I would like to know when do I have to use the word “the”. Thank you so much and I wish you can help. Bye!
Thanks Adrian for your audio message. Really nice to hear from you from Costa Rica. We did speak about the definite article “the” and also the indefinite article “a” and “an” and the zero article, when you don’t use either, back in episode 41 with our colleague Bea. So, Adrian, go listen to inglespodcast.com/41 and I’m sure you’ll find all the answers to when and when not to use “the”. If there’s anything there that you’re not sure about or if you’d like us to speak about something really in particular that we didn’t cover in that podcast, please, let us know, send us another voice message and we’ll be happy to do it for you. Next, we have an email from Francisco Espínola Sánchez, from Úbeda, in Jaén. Reza, what does Francisco say in his email?
Hi friends, how is it going?
The aim of this e-mail is to share some ideas and experiences with the listeners.
For example, for the last three months I have been working on my English improvement in a different way.
Neither academies, nor boring grammar books, nor that kind of stuff.
Now I just do three activities: listening to podcasts intensively, reading English literature and occasionally, doing language exchange (using Skype or head to head when it´s possible).
Head to head? I think you mean face to face.
Yeah! Face to face.
I carry on listening to your podcast loyally, every week.
What´s more, I have found some interesting podcasts.
One is Luke´s English podcast, who is a friend of yours, isn´t he?
Yes, we know Luke. We’ve mentioned Luke before.
Luke’s English podcast, fantastic podcast to listen to. I definitely recommend that!
This one, he means Luke’s, requires some effort at the beginning, as Luke speaks faster than you, but it´s worth trying it. I would say that “Aprender Inglés con Reza y Craig” is more academic and Luke is somehow like a TV comedian, so both podcasts together are the perfect team! This way, I can get at least three new episodes or so every week, so I keep continuously active. In combination with bilingual books, this method is really working to, maybe for, you should write for me. I feel my English improving one day after another, so I would encourage the “Aprender inglés con Reza y Craig” listeners community to try it. In my case, I am learning without noticing it at all! I have got to the FCE, First Certificate, and the next target is the CAE, the Advanced!
By the way, do you know Úbeda? It´s a UNESCO world heritage city in the province of Jaén. I am consciously promoting tourism for my hometown.
No, I don’t know Úbeda. I’ve never been there. Do you know it?
No, I’ve heard of it, but I haven’t been.
Well, sorry for the endless e-mail (and for mistakes) and thank you very much for your commitment, have a big hug!
Well, thank you Francisco, that’s lovely, lovely email and I think Francisco is doing one thing, well he’s doing many things correctly, but there’s one thing particularly I like and that he seems to have found something with English that he enjoys doing, listening to these podcasts, he’s listening to a lot, he’s varying the podcasts he’s listening to and that’s really helping him to improve his English. So, well done, Francisco. I think you’re doing everything right.
And you seem to be improving fast from First Certificate to Advanced. Good progress!
Yeah! Definitely. And I’m pleased to hear you listen to Luke. Yeah! If you are interested in listening to Luke’s podcast you can find it at teacherluke.co.uk and two more I recommend to you, there’s a very good podcast for Spanish speakers done by my friend Chris, Chris Gollop, you can find that at inglesdiario.es, he’s an English guy living in Spain, living in Valencia and also teaches Spanish students. Also my friend David, David Palencia, he’s Spanish, he speaks excellent English, you can find him at dawayingles.com, d-a-w-a-y-ingles.com, he’s just started second podcast, with Monica Stoker as his co-host. The podcast is called Your Way, you can find it on Itunes and you can find it on David’s website at dawayingles.com. All of those links to those podcasts you can find in our show notes at inglespodcast.com/136.
Now, one thing that Francisco did is to recommend listening to Luke’s podcast. He suggests that we listen to it. He suggests, he recommends. Tricky verbs, suggest and recommend, cause a lot of problems when it comes to the structure of the sentence. So, I suggest that Craig and I try to explain it a little bit better.
Yeah! I hear mistakes with my Spanish students using, particularly suggest, incorrectly. You cannot say, you cannot say “I suggested him to listen to our podcast”. That’s a No, No. So let’s look in detail at suggest and recommend and how you can use them correctly in English. So, suggest means “proponer” o “sugerir” and how can we use that, Reza, in English? What’s the correct way to use the grammar after suggest.
Well, there’s more than one correct way actually. Perhaps the easiest way is simply to say this: “I suggest that he listens to our podcast”, so suggest plus “that” and then we use a present simple verb: he listens.
Is it necessary to use “that”?
No, the word that can even be omitted, left out, so: “I suggest he listens to our podcast” is also correct.
So, it’s suggest plus pronoun. I can say “I suggest you listen to David’s podcast”.
Or it could be “I suggest John listens to your podcast”, any subject, it can be any subject.
There is another way, which is very common, which sounds complicated, perhaps, but it isn’t: using the subjunctive. Don’t be alarmed.
“Subjuntivo”, but it’s very easy, it’s simply this: “I suggest that he listen to our podcast”.
That’s the only difference. Take away the letter “s” from the third person singular and that’s the subjunctive in English, you don’t even need to really know that, you don’t need to think about that. You could just consider the infinitive without “to”.
It sounds a bit more formal, do you agree with that?
Yeah! It definitely is a bit more formal and it sounds very American, it’s more common with formal American English.
I suggest you go to the party.
When you say, the thing is with subjunctive, though, if you don’t use the third person singular, you don’t even know that it is the subjunctive. You only notice it when it’s taken away the “s”, so, “I suggest you go to the party”, “I suggest he goes”, Ah!, “I suggest he go”, Ah! Right. Now, you notice it’s subjunctive because the “s” disappears. In all the other parts, of course there is no “s”. So, you don’t even know it’s subjunctive. But you don’t have to use the subjunctive, if you want to put the third person singular “s” you can, if you want.
Another possibility is just use the gerund, if you’re putting another verb after suggest, add “ing”. I think, may be, that’s the easiest thing to remember, you can use “suggest” with a gerund, for example, “I suggest listening to our podcast”, “I suggest arriving early”, “I suggest buying this book”. Use a gerund, it’s always correct!
Now, you can add something before that gerund, but, you should only do it if it’s necessary or helpful. Otherwise you’re giving yourself unnecessary work and it would sound strange but sometimes it is necessary or useful to add a word. For example, “I suggested him listening to our podcast”. Imagine a situation, imagine I am talking about two people, a man and a woman, and they both want to improve their English, yeah? But imagine, unfortunately, unfortunately, that the woman is deaf that means she cannot hear, “es sorda”.
“Sorda”, she cannot hear. Well, what do I say to these two people who want to improve their English? Well, I suggested him listening to our podcast. I didn’t suggest her listening because she’s deaf, she can’t hear so obviously, unfortunately she can’t listen to our podcast. So, in that case the word “him” could be useful. So to these two people, I suggest him listening to our podcast and I suggest her perhaps reading, sorry, reading Braille or writing more but, unfortunately, she can’t listen. So, there are circumstances where you can add a pronoun like “him” or you can add the noun, it can be a person’s name: “I suggested Paul listening to our podcast”, “I suggested the Mexican student listening to our podcast”, you can add a person or a thing before the gerund. But be careful! If you use a pronoun it has to be the object form “him”, not “he”; the object form “him” or “her” or “me”, “I suggested, I suggested them listening to the podcast”, for example, not “they”. Craig, there’s another way which is a bit more formal that, maybe you can tell the listeners about that.
That sounded quite formal to me, actually. I suggested him listening to our podcast, it sounded not something I would hear in spoken English very often.
Not very often, no, but as I say, it would only be useful if you’re considering the context of distinguishing between two people, like: Reza, what did you tell those two students, the man and the woman? Well, I suggested him listening to the podcast and I suggested her reading more on Braille. In that case, it is useful to put it […], right?
Yeah! And the final example we have, I think again not common in spoken English, not often used but possibly tested in a high level exam, maybe like the CAE exam, perhaps, or Proficiency, “I suggested Paul’s listening to our podcast” with the possessive. “I suggested Paul’s listening to our podcast” or “I suggested his listening to our podcast” that sounds strange to me, not very common, would you agree?
No, that’s very formal.
But possible and maybe tested in an exam.
It may be tested in an exam. Personally, myself, I would never use it.
It’s very formal but it can get tested in an exam. So instead of a pronoun or a noun you can use a possessive: my, your, his, her or possessive “s”: Paul’s, the teacher’s, the student’s, apostrophe “s” plus the “ing” but it’s very formal.
So, Francisco from Úbeda and other students who are thinking of going to the next level and going from FCE to CAE, for example, and going to levels C1 and C2, bear that in mind. You can have those constructions, but the most common, suggest + gerund, “I suggested listening to our podcast” and the first one “I suggest he listens to our podcast”, I think they’re probably the two most common in spoken English.
Craig, what about the verb “recommend”?
“Aconsejar”, to recommend, or “recomendar”. We can say, for example, “I recommended him to listen to our podcast”.
Ah! So that’s different to suggest. You can have an object, “him”, plus infinitive, with recommend.
That’s the main difference, yeah!
You can’t with suggest.
And, as we said before with suggest, I recommended he listen to our podcast or I recommended he listens, with and “s”. As Reza said, without the “s” it’s the subjunctive. And “that” is possible but not essential, so “I recommended that he listens to our podcast”.
And similarly, with recommend as with suggest, you can add a person or a thing with it. You can say “I recommended him, or Paul listening to our podcast”. Or if you want to be very formal “I recommended his, or Paul’s, listening to our podcast”, but remember that’s very formal. There is another possibility with recommend, Craig?
Yes, listen to this: “I recommend that he should listen to our podcast”, so notice the “should”, the modal verb in there. So why would you use that, for emphasis?
Yeah! For emphasis.
To emphasize the point that it’s a really good idea.
To be more polite.
Yeah! It sounds more polite, as well, true.
“I recommend that you should” somehow it sounds more polite than “I recommend you do it”, “I recommend that you should do it”, it’s a little bit more polite.
It is, yeah! yeah! Let’s practice some of these constructions and expressions with “suggest” and “recommend” and talk about your flat, your famous “reforma”, doing up Reza’s flat. If you do it one of these days I recommend hiring a builder to do up your flat. Remember, “do up” is “reformar”, to decorate, to “renovar”, make new. So, I recommend hiring a builder to do up your flat rather than trying to do it up yourself.
Can you make any other recommendations or suggestions for me?
Well, I suggest you get a few quotes, a few quotations, a few estimates. I suggest you get a few estimates, quotes, and compare prices before you make a choice, what do you think?
That sounds a good advice to me.
Notice that with recommend I just used the gerund, I recommend hiring a builder, and with suggest I used the object immediately after suggest, I suggest you get a few quotes. Speaking of recommendations, I’d like to recommend some YouTube channels to you. Before the beginning of the episode, we recommended some useful podcasts for you to listen to, in addition to this, here are one or two YouTube channels that I’ve been recommending on the mansioningles Facebook page, which is at facebook.com/mansiongles. My friend Vicki Hollet has a wonderful YouTube channel called Simple English Videos and you can find that on YouTube at youtube/simpleenglishvideos. Go watch one or two of those, wonderful grammar, pronunciation, business English, vocabulary, videos, they’re quite short and they’re very, very well made. Another one I found recently, an English guy living in Colombia, it’s called Learn English with Papa Teach Me and you can find it at youtube.com/papateachme. And finally, two more people creating videos on YouTube for Spanish speakers Amigos Ingleses, you may know, they’re very famous, they’re very popular, Phillip and Isabel, based in Barcelona, you can find them at youtube.com/AmigosIngleses. All of these links would be in the show notes at inglespodcast.com/136.
Another way you can improve your English is through our sponsor Italki. Italki is an online service where you can find a teacher that suit your needs, all you need is a computer and Skype and you can have a class anytime you want, as long as you got an internet connection, with any teacher you want, because Italki has lots of teachers to choose from, native speakers, and you can have a look at their profile and their experience and the different prices they charge and when they’re available and find the teacher to suit you at the right time, at the right price, with the right requirements. So, it’s very convenient, it’s affordable and what’s more, if you join up through inglespodcast.com/italki, Italki would give you a hundred free italki credits which should be enough to pay for your first lesson, we’re sure you like it. Craig and I would like to thank our sponsor Italki for sponsoring Aprender Inglés con Reza y Craig.
Why don’t we look at some other ways of making suggestions or giving advice?
You know, that’s an excellent suggestion, Reza. Why don’t we suggest some other expressions? So, why don’t we, why don’t you is another way of suggesting something. Infinitive without “to”, why don’t you + infinitive without “to”.
Let’s practice another one. Imagine I have a problem. Give me some advice with “why don’t you”. I feel sleepy.
Why don’t you have a siesta?
I feel angry.
Why don’t you have a nice cup of tea and sit down and relax.
Another expression you could use is “What about”. So, it’s “what about” plus gerund, “gerundio”. What about taking some pills. What about sleeping later. How about. So, “what about” or “how about” plus gerund is another way to give advice.
A gerund or you don’t have to use a verb, you can just use a noun: How about some tea.
What about a siesta. “You could”, using the infinitive without “to”, so “you could have a sleep”, “you could go to the cinema”, “you could have a pizza” or “you could always” is quite common as well, isn’t it? You could always …
Listen to our podcast.
Yes. That would send to you sleep, you could always listen to us if you can’t sleep, that would send to you sleep immediately.
It’s a good idea to listen to as many podcasts as you can to improve your English.
So, “it’s a good idea” plus infinitive. It’s a good idea to subscribe to this podcast and then you get an episode immediately is released.
And it’s free. Not many things are free in life.
It’s a good idea to subscribe to this podcast. It’s a good idea to listen every week.
You might want to subscribe right now if you haven’t already. “You might want to” is another construction.
You might want to, yeah! You might want to subscribe to our newsletter at inglespodcast.com because you’ll receive news every month of the podcasts we publish every month. So, you get a summary of all the podcasts we make every month. You might want to do that, you might want to subscribe to our newsletter.
Perhaps you could compare our podcast with other podcasts, like Luke’s, for example.
And if you’re having problems understanding listening, perhaps you should listen to more podcasts, perhaps you should listen to a variety of different accents, “perhaps you could” or “perhaps you should”, and because they’re modal verbs, then you just use the infinitive without “to”, perhaps you could listen, perhaps you should go, perhaps you could try, for example.
Have you thought about finding a teacher online? “Have you thought about” plus a gerund or a noun. Have you thought about cutting down on dark chocolate, Craig?
No, I haven’t. I haven’t thought about that. Have you considered not eating biscuits?
No. I must eat biscuits. I’m an addict.
So, it’s “Have you considered” or “have you thought about” plus gerund and obviously the negative is with “not”, so, have you considered listening or have you considered not eating.
Craig, have you tried contacting Mickey Mouse recently?
Yes, he was engaged, he was busy. He didn’t reply to my email. “Have you tried” plus gerund or “Have you tried” plus noun.
Traig, Craig, you like dark chocolate a lot.
Traig no, he hates dark chocolate but Craig loves dark chocolate.
Craig likes it, yeah!
Have you tried carob as a substitute?
Yes. I have.
And how did it go?
I used to eat, yeah, I used to eat carob chocolate. It’s quite nice but it’s a bit like non-alcoholic beer. What’s the point, it’s not the same.
Carob is “algarroba”, by the way.
How do you say it?
I didn’t know that word.
Carob. “If I were you”, you could use the second conditional, “If I were you” or “if I was you I’d (I would)” and then the infinitive without “to”. If I were you, Reza, I’d get your flat done up as soon as possible.
“Toma”, after your Mickey Mouse jokes.
Yeah! “One thing you could do is” + an infinitive without “to”. For example, to improve your English one thing you could do is listen to podcasts, watch films in English is another thing. There are many things you could do in fact.
Yeah, one thing you could do is find a group of friends who want to practice their English and speak English with them. It doesn’t matter if your first language is Spanish. One thing you could do is speak together one hour per week only in English. Try it!
Craig, I have a suggestion for after this podcast. Shall we have a cup of tea?
That sounds lovely. Yes, I think we should.
Shall I put the kettle on?
Yes, please do. “Shall I” or “Shall we”.
What about “Shall you”, is that possible?
It’s not, isn’t it?
No. You can only use “I” or “we” with shall. You can’t use the other people. You can only use the first person, singular or plural, I or we, no you or he or it or they with “shall”.
Shall we dance? For example. Quite informal, but I like this expression: Do you fancy?
Do you fancy a cup of tea?
Yeah! Notice Reza’s pronunciation. The “do you” becomes “you”, “you”. It comes together, “you”, “you fancy?”, “you fancy?” Fancy is “apetecer”, so “do you fancy” + gerund or “do you fancy” + a noun. Do you fancy a pizza? or, Do you fancy going for a pizza?, do you fancy having a pizza? Do you fancy having a beer? Would you like to?
Craig, do you know what the doctor said to the patient when the patient said: Doctor, doctor, every time I drink a cup of coffee I get a pain in my eye.
What did he say?
He said: Have you tried taking the spoon out of the cup?
So, imagine this fellow. Every time he drinks a cup of coffee he forgets to take the spoon, “la cuchara”, out of the cup and it hits him in the eye. So the doctor says: Have you tried taking the spoon out of the cup? “Have you tried” + gerund. “¿Has probado quitar la cucharita de la taza?” Maybe that way you won’t have a sour eye.
With the verb try, of course, try can be followed by an infinitive or a gerund, but in this case when it’s followed by a gerund it means “experimentar”. So “to try doing something”, My car is not working. Have you tried pushing it? Or my computer is broken, it doesn’t work. Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again? So, doing these things to experiment. And as Reza said: Have you tried taking the spoon out of the cup?
Because, of course there can be try + infinitive but it’s a different meaning, isn’t it? It means “to make an effort”. I tried to help the dying man, but his heart stopped and he died. I tried to help him, I made an effort, that’s try + infinitive, that’s a different thing.
I tried to lift the box but it was too heavy. I made the effort to lift it but I couldn’t.
Craig, are there any good expressions specifically for giving strong advice?
Strong advice, yes, you could use “should”, which is, I mean “should” is not really strong advice but it’s a fairly strong suggestion. “You should go to the doctor”. But stronger than that is “You had better”, stronger that “should”. It’s often contracted, so “You had better” becomes “You’d better”. For example, well, if you’re coughing, you’re coughing, you’re smoking a lot, you’d better go to the doctor’s, you’d better go to the doctor’s for an X-ray, you’d better go to the doctor’s and ask him what’s wrong. Is there anything stronger that “you’d better”?
Yes, I guess probably the strongest would be “must or “have to”. So, if you have trouble getting to sleep, for example, let’s say you have insomnia, well, if it’s been going on for a long time, you really must see a doctor because it could become very dangerous for your health. You have to see a doctor and I’m advising you very strongly, because it’s a very serious situation.
Yeap! You must do it, you have to do it, it’s really strong obligation. So, remember that order: “you should”, “you’d better” and “you must” or “you have to”, so, going up in strength.
So those are ways of making suggestions and giving advice but, how can we ask people for advice? What expressions can we use for asking for advice? Remember that advice is an uncountable noun, don’t make the mistake of putting an “s” on advice, it’s uncountable, so we say “some advice” or “a piece of advice”. What’s your advice or can you give me some advice? Reza, what suggestions could we use for asking for advice.
Well, you could simply ask: What should I do?
What should I do?
Or, what do you suggest?
What do you advise me to do? That’s using the verb. The difference in pronunciation with advice with a “c”, it’s without vibration, without vibration in the throat, so it’s “advice”, “ss”, “advice”. The verb “advise” has an “s” but it sounds like a “zed”, “una z”, it’s “advise”, “advise”. What do you advise me to do?
Or of course, if you want to use the noun you could say: What’s your advice?
With the conditional: if you were me, “subjuntivo”, if you were me, what would you do? If you were me, what would you do?
Well, let’s ask the listeners what they think. If they were me or they were Craig, what would they do? Let’s imagine a few situations, well in fact, we’re not imagining them, they’re true.
Yeah, we’ve written down a few problems that we’re facing at the moment, Reza and I, so let’s alternately give a problem and ask the other one for advice. So, what problems [are] facing you at the moment, Reza, is there anything in your life that you’re struggling to deal with?
Yes. I’m getting used to wearing new glasses. In fact, I’m not even wearing them at the moment.
Yea, I’ve noticed that. Your glasses are very nice. Why haven’t you put them on today? Why aren’t you wearing them?
I’m just finding it really difficult to get used to them and I find that I can only wear them for short periods of time at the moment. And I wanted to be able to make sure I can do this podcast and be concentrated so I decided not to wear them today. But after the podcast I’ll put them on.
So, what’s the problem? Why aren’t you? Are they uncomfortable physically?
No, they’re not. Just because the prescription, “la graduación” you would say in Spanish, has been changed. So, they’re slightly stronger and different now, they’re in fact multifocal, or what you call “progresivas” in Spanish, which I never had before. And I’m finding it difficult to get used to them, “acostumbrarme”.
Have you considered wearing them an extra hour every day, like wearing them, have you thought about wearing them for two hours and the next day three hours and the next day four hours?
Yes, that’s what I’m doing. I’m building up the time. So, I’ll wear them later today in the afternoon for a bit longer.
Ok, well, I can’t offer any more advice except if you keep trying and you can’t get used to them you could always take them back to the optician.
Craig, are there any problems facing you at the moment?
Yes. At the moment I’m trying to change from using a paper dairy to a digital one, like a calendar. I’ve always used a paper calendar, a paper diary, but I realized that very often I’m out, at the doctor’s or at the school and I need to see if I’m free, if I have free time and I don’t always have my paper diary with me. I can’t check if I’m available. So I’m making a transition to a digital diary and I’m finding it really difficult to get used to the digital diary, so I’m using both which is silly. So, what do you suggest?
What is it you find difficult about the digital diary?
I’m just not used to using it on the phone, it seems very small on the phone, you have to move it around so you can’t see very clearly, it’s not as easy as turning the page. What would you advise me to do?
You might want to use both for a period of time, and then see which one is more suitable and then just choose one. So, what I’m saying is that the digital might not be better than the paper. If I were you I’d use both for a while and see which one works better for you and if it’s the digital stop using paper. But if the paper works better, you don’t need the digital.
Just take my paper diary everywhere with me, maybe get a smaller one that I can put in my pocket. That’s a very good idea. Very good piece of advice.
Personally I don’t like digital diaries and I‘m happy with my paper one so maybe I’m not a good person to ask for advice about this.
Have you tried a digital diary?
No, I haven’t tried it yet. It doesn’t really appeal to me. I feel enough digital input in my life without even more.
What other problems are facing you at the moment. Anything else?
Well, as you can see, putting on weight around my belly, “mi barriga”. More, more weight, I’ve put on weight.
Oh I didn’t notice.
Not, really? Well, well I am. What should I do? Any advice for me?
Well, one thing you could do is a little more exercise. I know you exercise when you first get up most mornings in the flat, but you could go to a gym two or three times a week. Is that something you’ve considered? Have you tried that?
Not seriously, but maybe I should. I think you might have a good idea there.
Also, paying the money for a gym membership maybe give you the push you need to make the commitment to regularly go to the gym and it’s a nice way to meet people too.
I think that’s a good idea.
One thing that I’m thinking about at the moment is saying no to new projects because I’m finding it really difficult to manage my time. I’d like to start making more videos for the students and putting them on YouTube and I just can’t seem to get the free time to sit down and spend, even an hour a day, on creating this. So, is there anything that you’d suggest? What do you suggest I’d do?
Have you thought about meditating?
How would that increase my time management?
I think meditation might help you simply focus on where your time is best used and you’ll realize that you maybe don’t have enough time for everything and don’t worry about you can’t fit in, just meditate on what’s important.
So that means that I have to prioritize things.
Yeah. And I think meditation would help you prioritize. So, ok, in theory when you’re meditating you’re not supposed to be thinking about anything but, after the meditation, it helps to clear your mind and you will then be able to prioritize what’s truly important in life. And perhaps the latest project isn’t that important or perhaps it is, who knows.
But that’s a very deep and interesting piece of advice. That reminds me of something Gandhi once said, he said: I’m so busy today , I’ve got so much I need to do, I’m going to have to meditate an extra hour.
Yeah! I totally get his point.
Thank you for that piece of advice I will consider it. Anything else that’s on your mind, Reza?
Yeah and you’re a good person to ask. How can you help me with my problem of breathing too loudly into the microphone?
Well, you might want to put your mouth at an angle so that you’re speaking across the microphone.
Are you having a stroke? No, just, instead of speaking, speaking, speaking into the microphone in the front like I just did, if you turn your mouth just a little bit and speak at a ninety degree angle across it, you are as loud but the peace and the breaths don’t go in to the microphone. It’s difficult but it’s something you have to practice a lot and get used to it.
Does that sound a bit better?
That sounds …
I can say my p’s and it doesn’t explode so much, please, please, can you help me?
That sounds much, much better, even a little sexier, actually.
Even sexier than normal?
Even sexier than normal.
Be careful, Craig, I’m trying to stop my plosive p’s.
Ok, well, I think we give an advice to each other. Now it’s your turn to practice your English. Do you have a question for us? Or an idea for a future episode?
Please, recommend whatever you like.
Yeah. Recommend it to us, suggest ideas for future episodes, send us a voice message and practice some of the language in today’s podcast and tell us what you think. You could do this at speakpipe.com/inglespodcast, s-p-e-a-k-p-i-p-e.com/inglespodcast. And to reach us by email, send it to me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or to me, Reza, at email@example.com.
And if you’d like more detailed show notes go to patreon.com/inglespodcast and we’d like to thank our wonderful sponsors.
It continues in the show notes.