Spanish Vocabulary for Giving Advice

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  • 0:01 Spanish Vocabulary for…
  • 2:31 Present Subjunctive
  • 3:26 Indirect Object Pronouns
  • 5:48 Practice
  • 6:32 Other Advice Verbs
  • 7:40 Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Pablo Serna

Pablo has taught college Spanish at the University of Missouri and Central Methodist University, and has a master's degree in Spanish literature.

In this lesson, we will learn about some verbs or expressions that are useful when giving and receiving advice, recommendations, and suggestions. We will also learn how to use those verbs with indirect object pronouns and be aware of some stem changes for verbs like recomendar and sugerir.

Spanish Vocabulary for Giving Advice

Tienes problemas con tus clases?

  1. Te recomiendo (I recommend) estudiar mucho.
  2. Sugiero (I suggest) relajarse (to relax).
  3. Aconsejo (I advise) hablar con tu consejero (advisor).

When we face certain events or situations or we don't know about something, we should ask for advice (consejos). People often give us recommendations (recomendaciones) or suggestions (sugerencias), wanted or not, to solve problems and answer questions. In this lesson, we will learn how to use common expressions that allow us to give and receive advice.

Giving and Receiving Advice

When we use verbs like recomendar, sugerir, and aconsejar, we can express some general ideas about what you can do to find possible solutions to certain events. Take into consideration that the verbs recomendar and sugerir have stem changes from e to ie in all forms but the nosotros and vosotros forms:

  • Sugiero
  • Sugieres
  • Sugiere
  • Sugerimos
  • Sugerís
  • Sugieren
  • Recomiendo
  • Recomiendas
  • Recomienda
  • Recomendamos
  • Recomendáis
  • Recomiendan

¡Vamos a ver algunos ejemplos!

  1. Qué te recomiendan tus padres hacer en la universidad? (What do your parents recommend to you that you do while in college?)
  2. Mis padres me recomiendan estudiar mucho y no estar ansioso. (My parents recommend to me to study a lot and not to be anxious.)
  3. En los aviones se recomienda abrocharse el cinturón de seguridad. (On airplanes, it is recommended to fasten your seatbelt.)
  4. Mi jefe (boss) me aconseja no trabajar en las noches. (My boss advises me not to work at night.)


Now, let's take a break for a second to mention that there is another group of tenses that would use those verbs as part of more complex sentences that need not only one subject and one clause, but also another subject, the word que and the second clause that contains the second subject.

For example: Te recomiendo que estudies mucho. (I recommend that you study a lot). In that case, we would use a tense called present subjunctive that we see expressed with the verb estudies.

Do not worry; we will not go farther talking about that group of tenses today, but it is important to be aware of this. ¡Sugiero poner atención a la explicación! (I suggest paying attention to the explanation.)

Giving Advice and Indirect Object Pronouns

You have probably noticed that a lot of times, when we use verbs for advice, we also use indirect object pronouns. These object pronouns are used to indicate to whom an action is directed or who is receiving the action. These indirect object pronouns are:

  • Me (to me)
  • Te (to you, singular informal)
  • Le (to him/her/one/you formal)
  • Nos (to us)
  • Os (to you, plural in Spain)
  • Les (to you, plural, to them)

Also, the pronoun se is used when we use impersonal expressions, such as: Se recomienda conducir a 30 millas por hora. (It is recommended to drive at 30 miles per hour). There is no equivalence for 'it' in Spanish, so the verb is conjugated in the third person singular.

Please make sure you do not use me trying to say 'I.' Remember that 'I' in Spanish is yo. So, Yo recomiendo estudiar makes sense, while saying something like, Me recomiendo estudiar does not because you do not recommend things to yourself. It is extremely important to understand who is the one performing the action and who is the one receiving the action.

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