Making suggestions in English

One way of telling people what they should do is to use the phrase I think you should…

  • I think you should consult a specialist.
  • I think you should accept that job.
  • I think you should talk to him.

To make a more direct suggestion, you can use You should…

  • You should get that car repaired.
  • You should find a better job.

To suggest what someone else can do, use the phrase You could…

  • You could help him.
  • You could ask him to help you.
  • ‘What shall I do tomorrow?’ ‘Well, you could go for a long drive.’
  • When you’re in London, you could go and see Mary.

If you want to do something, you can say Let’s …

  • Let’s go for a walk, shall we?
  • Let’s buy something to eat. I’m starved!
  • Let’s buy some flowers for her.

If you want to make a suggestion and see if other people agree with you, use Shall we…

  • Shall we go for a walk?
  • Shall we buy something to eat?
  • Shall we ask Susie if she wants to come with us?
  • Shall we buy a new home?

Another very common way of making suggestions is to use the phrase How about…?

  • How about buying something to eat?
  • How about watching a film?
  • How about taking a short break?
  • How about buying a new car?
  • How about asking his help?
  • How about going for a drive?

Note that a verb used after How about…? should be in the –ing form.