How to Give Advice in Spanish

Quick Answer

There are various ways to dar consejos(give advice) in Spanish. The structure you choose depends on how direct you would like to be when telling someone what they should do.

To give someone advice in Spanish, you need to talk to that person, making it necessary to choose from one of the five ways to say "you" in Spanish. There are many ways to say you in Spanish, and they vary depending on the formality of the relationship between the speaker(s) and listener(s), how many people are being spoken to, and even what country the people are in or are from.

Let’s take a look at the different structures we can use to give advice in Spanish!

Making Recommendations and Suggestions

With the following formulas, we can politely give someone advice by making a recommendation or suggestion.

Formula 1

indirect object pronoun + verb of recommendation in the present indicative + que+ present subjunctive

Check out these examples!

Les recomiendo que prueben la paella.
I recommend you try the paella.
Te propongo que leas este libro.
I suggest you read this book.

The indirect object pronoun is generally used to indicate who the recommendation is for, but is sometimes omitted. For example, Sugiero que te vayas a dormir ya.(I suggest you go to sleep now.)

Formula 2

indirect object pronoun + verb of recommendation in the conditional + que + imperfect subjunctive

Le aconsejaría que se pusiera en contacto con Atención al Cliente.
I would advise you to contact Customer Support.
Te recomendaría que tomaras el tren.
I would recommend that you take the train.

Using the verb of recommendation in the conditional instead of the present tense makes the advice sound more polite.

Formula 3

indirect object pronoun + verb of recommendation + infinitive

Te aconsejo comer más verduras.
I advise you to eat more vegetables.
Os recomiendo ir a la universidad.
I recommend you go to college.

Formula 4

Es+ adjective + que + verb in the present subjunctive

Here are some examples!

Es aconsejable que te limpies los dientes con hilo dental antes de cepillarte.
It’s advisable that you clean your teeth with floss before you brush.
Es recomendable que dejes una propina.
It’s recommended that you leave a tip.

Giving Advice Using Deber and Poder

The auxiliary verbs deberand poderare often conjugated in the conditional tense to give advice. These verbs will always be followed by a verb in its infinitive form.

Check out these examples!

Deberías limpiar la casa antes de que regresen tus padres.
You should clean the house before your parents get home.
Deberían echarle una mano al nuevo estudiante.
You ought to help the new student out.
Necesito comprar regalos de Navidad, pero estoy pelado. No sé qué hacer. - Podrías hacerlos a mano.
I need to buy Christmas gifts, but I am broke. I don't know what to do. - You could make them by hand.
Podrías intentar ser un poco más amable.
You could try to be a little more friendly.

Giving Advice Indirectly

If someone doesn’t take well to being told what they should do, there are more delicate ways to go about it.

Let’s take a look at some ways to give advice indirectly:

Asking a Question

Let’s take a look at how to turn advice into a question as a way to soften the tone.

¿Por qué tú no+ present indicative?Why don’t you…?
¿Has intentado+ infinitive?Have you tried…?
¿Y si+ indicative?What if…?

Let’s take a look at some examples!

¿Por qué tú no consigues un trabajo?
Why don’t you get a job?
Siempre me duele la cabeza. - ¿Has intentado tomar más agua?
My head always hurts. - Have you tried drinking more water?
¿Y si no le dices la verdad?
What if you don’t tell her the truth?

Putting Yourself in Their Shoes

There are various phrases you can use to give advice to someone by putting yourself in their shoes. Let’s take a closer look at the various ways to say If I were you in Spanish.

Si yo fuera tú, nunca volvería a hablar con él.
If I were you, I’d never talk to him again.
Yo que tú, contrataría a un profesional.
If I were you, I’d hire a professional.
Yo, en tu lugar, iría al médico inmediatamente
If I were you, I’d go to the doctor immediately.
Yo de ti aceptaría la oferta de trabajo.
If I were you, I’d accept the job offer.

Using Idioms

To get a little more creative with your advice, try using an idiom. For example, No le busques pulgas al perro.(Let sleeping dogs lie.)

Click here for more idioms in Spanish!

Giving Advice Using Commands

Using the imperative mood is the most direct way to go about giving someone advice in Spanish.

For example:

No uses tanta sal. Es malo para la salud.
Don’t use so much salt. It’s bad for your health.
Intenta ahorrar un poco de dinero cada mes.
Try to save a little bit of money every month.

Dar consejos is one of the many Spanish phrases that use the verb dar (to give). Click here to learn more expressions with dar!