Japanese Expression for Suggestion & Advice -
Intermediate Lessons: 30

In this lesson, you'll learn using a Japanese expression to make suggestions or to give advice.

Generally, this expression ends with ~ほうがいいです (~hou ga ii desu). The english equivalent is "It's better to ~" or "You had better ~".

Depending on the situation, this expression may sound like you are imposing your opinion on the listener. Therefore, consider the context of the conversation carefully before using it.

Let's check out the sentence patterns...

Verb (た-form) ほうがいいです -> It's better to ...
Verb (ない-form) ほうがいいです -> It's better not to ...

If you want to suggest something or give advice in a positive way, use the first sentence pattern "Verb (た-form) ほうがいいです".

If you want to suggest or advise in a negative way (i.e. against doing something), use the second sentence pattern "Verb (ない-form) ほうがいいです".

Examples of Japanese Expression using ほうがいいです

You'll normally use this Japanese expression when you're replying someone in a conversation. Let's look at some examples...

  1. A: 頭が痛いです。
    atama ga itai desu
    Meaning: I have a headache.

    B: 薬を飲んだほうがいいですよ。
    kusuri wo nonda hou ga ii desu yo
    Meaning: You had better take some medicine.

  2. A: 来週日本へ旅行に行きます。
    raishuu nihon e ryokou ni ikimasu
    Meaning: I am going to Japan for tour next week.

    B: 行く前に保険に入ったほうがいいですよ。
    iku mae ni hoken ni haitta hou ga ii desu yo
    Meaning: It's better to buy (travel) insurance before going.

  3. A: 明日試験を受けます。
    ashita shiken wo ukemasu
    Meaning: I am taking a test tomorrow.

    B: 今晩テレビを見ないほうがいいですよ。
    konban terebi wo minai hou ga ii desu yo
    Meaning: You had better not watch TV tonight.

More Examples

Japanese Expression for Suggestion & Advice

  1. ご飯の後で歯を磨いたほうがいいです
    gohan no ato de ha wo migaita hou ga ii desu

    Meaning: It's better to brush your teeth after meal.

  2. 暗いから、電気をつけたほうがいいです
    kurai kara, denki wo tsuketa hou gaii desu

    Meaning: Since it's dark, it's better to switch on the light.

  3. 熱があるときはゆっくり休んだほうがいいです
    netsu ga aru toki wa yukkuri yasunda hou ga ii desu

    Meaning: It's better to take your time and rest when you have a fever.

  4. 分からないときは先生に聞いたほうがいいです
    wakaranai toki wa sensei ni kiita hou ga ii desu

    Meaning: It's better to ask teacher when you don't understand.

  5. 暗い部屋で本を読まないほうがいいです
    kurai heya de hon wo yomanai hou ga ii desu

    Meaning: It's better not to read book in a dark room.

  6. もう夜遅いから、電話をかけないほうがいいです
    mou yoru osoi kara, denwa wo kakenai hou ga ii desu

    Meaning: Since it's already late at night, it's better not to make a phone call.

  7. 彼はもう大人です。あまり心配しないほうがいいです
    kare wa mou otona desu. amari shinpaishinai hou ga ii desu

    Meaning: He is already an adult. You had better not worry too much.

Suggestions using Japanese Conditional Form たら (tara)

You can also make suggestions by using たら (tara) sentence. For example...

  • A: 日本のアニメと漫画が見たいんですが。。。
    nihon no anime to manga ga mitain desu ga...
    Meaning: I would like to see Japanese anime and manga...

    B1: 秋葉原へいったらいいですよ。
    akihabara e ittara ii desu yo
    Meaning: It would be a good idea if you go to Akihabara.

    B2: 秋葉原へいったらどうですか。
    akihabara e ittara dou desu ka
    Meaning: How about going to Akihabara?

The above example illustrates a situation in which a simple suggestion is given. In such cases たら (tara) sentence is used. "Verb (た-form) ほうがいいです" implies a comparison and a choice between two things even if it's not expressed in words.

Like I've mentioned before, be careful when you're using this Japanese expression when giving suggesions or advice as depending on situation, it may sound like you are imposing your opinion on the listener. Therefore, consider the context of the conversation carefully before using it.


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