How to Make Suggestions in English with Examples

How to Make Suggestions in English with Examples

In previous articles along this line, we have considered how to do many things such as making requests, expressing opinions, agreeing, how to apologise, expressing disagreement and others. This post focuses on How to Make Suggestions in English with Examples. You will learn various ways in which you can make suggestions in English Language.

How to Make Suggestions in English with Examples

Making a suggestion has to do with putting forward an idea or a proposal for someone to consider. As the name implies, it is a suggestion and not an imposition. So, let us see How to Make Suggestions in English with Examples

Why Don’t You/We

This is the usual way of making a suggestion in spoken English. Consider these examples:

  • Why don’t you talk to her about it?
  • Why don’t we go out for a meal some time?
  • He suggested, ‘why don’t we talk about this over dinner?’


‘Let’s’ is used when suggesting that you and someone should do something together soon. Examples include:

  • Let’s meet in front of the train station.
  • Let’s see what’s in the movie guide.
  • Can we eat out? Let’s see the options we have.

If I Were You, I Would or I’d

We use this when suggesting what we think is the best thing for someone to do; usually, this is based on our personal experience and knowledge. For example:

  • If I were you, I would be very careful about giving your address on any public websites.
  • If I were you, I’d take it easy for the next few days.
  • I would not approach the matter from that perspective if I were you.
  • I’d rather not say that if I were you.

How About/What About

This is used when someone has asked you to suggest a time, place, idea etc. For instance:

  • A: ‘When’s a good day for you?’
  • B: ‘How about Monday?’
  • A: ‘Where do you think we should go?’
  • B: ‘What about Barcelona? It’s supposed to be very beautiful.’

What Do You Think About

We use ‘what do you think about…when suggesting something and asking someone what they think about it. Consider these examples:

  • What do you think about a holiday in Greece?
  • What do you think about a party at my place on Saturday?
  • Her father asked: what do you think about going on a business trip with me?

 You Could Always/We Could Always/There’s Always

This is used when suggesting ideas to someone, when they are not sure about what to do. Examples include:

  • You could always ask someone to record the programme for you.
  • We could always go for a walk.
  • There’s always the pub on the corner.
  • You could always come back some other times.


Less Direct Ways of Making Suggestions

Sometimes, there are less direct ways of making suggestions unlike the ones we have considered above. Let us see some of these less direct ways of making suggestions…

What If/Suppose

Sometimes, when we suggest something as a possible idea, we use this. For instance:

  • What if we painted the room yellow?
  • That sounds a bit too bright to me. Suppose you asked the same question in a different way?
  • What if we conveyed the meeting some other time?

Other Less Direct Ways of Making Suggestions

People often make suggestions in a less direct way by using either of these two options:

  • Maybe or perhaps
  • May or might

Let us take a closer look…

Maybe We Could/Perhaps You Could

We use this when making a suggestion in a less direct way. See the following expressions, for example:

  • Maybe we could ask people if they’d be interested in having a concert.
  • Perhaps you could change the settings on your computer.
  • Maybe we could have coleslaw for dinner.
  • Perhaps we could contact the Vice Chancellor.

You Might Like To/You May Want To

This is used when suggesting what someone should do in a less direct way. For example:

  • You might like to ask them for their advice.
  • You might like to try giving your lawyer a call.
  • If you’re thinking of buying a holiday home in the sun, you might like to consider Croatia.
  • You might like to consider relocating to Nigeria.
  • You may want to see your father before the end of the week.

 May, sometimes, could represent a strong possibility while might could represent a not-too-strong possibility. Read more about these Modal Auxiliary Verbs. The post on their Non-Modal Auxiliary counterparts also provides insightful information. Do check it out.

Related Posts

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