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...
||→ It's better to ...
||→ 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...
atama ga itai desu
Meaning: I have a headache.
kusuri wo nonda hou ga ii desu yo
Meaning: You had better take some medicine.
raishuu nihon e ryokou ni ikimasu
Meaning: I am going to Japan for tour next week.
iku mae ni hoken ni haitta hou ga ii desu yo
Meaning: It's better to buy (travel) insurance before going.
ashita shiken wo ukemasu
Meaning: I am taking a test tomorrow.
konban terebi wo minai hou ga ii desu yo
Meaning: You had better not watch TV tonight.
gohan no ato de ha wo migaita hou ga ii desu
Meaning: It's better to brush your teeth after meal.
kurai kara, denki wo tsuketa hou gaii desu
Meaning: Since it's dark, it's better to switch on the light.
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.
wakaranai toki wa sensei ni kiita hou ga ii desu
Meaning: It's better to ask teacher when you don't understand.
kurai heya de hon wo yomanai hou ga ii desu
Meaning: It's better not to read book in a dark room.
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.
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...
nihon no anime to manga ga mitain desu ga...
Meaning: I would like to see Japanese anime and manga...
akihabara e ittara ii desu yo
Meaning: It would be a good idea if you go to Akihabara.
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 suggestions 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.