Giving advice in German

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Giving advice

You can give advice or make a recommendation in different ways:

  • using empfehlen (to recommend)

-Welchen Wein empfehlen Sie mir zum Hauptgericht?

‑Which wine do you recommend with the main course?

-Zum Fisch empfehle ich Ihnen einen Sauvignon Blanc.

‑With fish, I recommend a Sauvignon Blanc.

  • using jemandem raten (to advise someone) or raten zu (to advise to), followed by the dative

-Was raten Sie mir? -Ich rate Ihnen, ein Taxi zu reservieren.

‑What do you advise? ‑I advise you to book a taxi.

-Rätst du mir zum Verkauf? -Ja, ich rate dir, jetzt zu verkaufen.

Are you advising me to sell? ‑Yes, I'm advising you to sell now.

  • using einen Ratschlag geben (to give advice)

Kannst du mir einen Ratschlag geben?

Can you give me some advice?

Wenn ich dir einen Rat geben darf: Warte bis morgen.

If I may give you some advice: wait until tomorrow.

  • Using the subjunctive II of werden (will), müssen (must) and sollen (should).

An Ihrer Stelle würde ich das Haus verkaufen.

If I were you, I would sell the house.

Das müsstet ihr korrigieren.

You should correct it.

Du solltest die Firma anrufen.

You ought to give the company a call.

We can also advise someone against doing something:

  • using the separable verb Trennbares Verb abraten von (to advise against), which takes the dative

Von dem Autohändler rate ich dir ab. abraten, Präsens

I would advise you against that car dealer.

Der Berater hat mir von der Investition abgeraten. abraten, Perfekt

The adviser advised me against the investment.

Note: in a restaurant, we ask for eine Empfehlung (a recommendation), not for einen Ratschlag (advice).

-Welchen Wein empfehlen Sie uns? -Wir empfehlen Ihnen den Wein des Hauses.

-Which wine do you recommend for us? -We recommend the house wine.


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