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Hi there.

I've been told that there is not a plural word for "advice".
So, you shouldn't say, "I'll give you some advices" or something like that.

That the plural would be "pieces of advice".

Is that right?

I mean in formal speech /writing and in common informal speech also.

Thanks.
New Member16
Hi Kayaker,

Let me give some advice: don't tug on Superman's cape, don't spit into the wind, don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and don't mess around with Jim.

Courtesy of Jim Croce, You Don't Mess Around With Jim (It was once a popular song.)

Advice can be singular (don't spit into the wind) or it can be plural as seen above.

This applies to both oral and written communication as well as both formal and informal.

Singular:

1) I will give you advice tomorrow. (I would normally say that as, I will advise you tomorrow.)

2) Was Sue's advice appropriate for the situation?

Plural:

3) I will give you even more advice later.

4) Was Sue and Karen's advice appropriate for the situation?

I hope that helps.

MountainHiker
Senior Member2,528
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Ok.

So, the word is always the same "advice" both for singular and plural.

And there's no word "advices"? It'd be incorrect to use "advices" for plural meaning?

And what about "pieces of advice"? When is it used?
There is no such word as 'advices'.

'Pieces of advice' could be used, in the same way as offering 'slices of bread' but is a bit odd. I think most people would say 'some advice'.

I wonder if you are asking as you have heard the phrase 'let me give you a piece of advice' ? This is a rather threatening idiomatic phrase and it doesn't follow that you would also use 'pieces of advice'.
Veteran Member11,782
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So "piece of advice" is only used in that idiomatic expression?

Not as a general term or plural for advice?
I've googled around and I've found that "pieces of advice" is very common.
(I usually look for sentences between double quotes in google to find how common they are)
And it is used as a plural for advice.

So, how's the deal?
Hi Kayaker,

You question ought to be, "So, what's the deal?" that is our way of saying it.

"Pieces of advice"

Pieces is plural. Advice can be either singular or plural. But note, it is NOT advices. It is only advice.

1) Let me give some (meaning more than one) advice:

2) Let me give you advice:

In both situations, I can give you more than recommendation (or advice). You have multiple recommendations but only advice. All the recommendations or suggestions I am giving to you form my advice (not advices) to you.

Does this help? I am not explaining this well.

MountainHiker
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in terms of severity - suggestion, recommendation, and advice, how would you rank them? thanks.
Full Member164
bmo,

I would rank recommendation as stronger than suggestion. I am not sure how I would rank advice.

Often in business communication, a subordinate will "soften" her voice using the word "suggestion" when she really means recommendation.

A suggestion: I think you ought to consider expanding Plant X. (The reader can take it or leave it.)

A recommenation: You ought to expand Plant X. (The reader is "pushed" in the direction of expanding Plant X; The reader can still decide to do something different.)

But, you boss might come to you and say, "I suggest you discuss your ideas with me before you voice your opinion in an open meeting."

That really is a veiled threat. If you don't follow that subtle suggestion, there will be adverse consequences. So it depends on the status of the speaker and the tone she uses.

As I think about it, advice is closer to recommendation than to a suggestion.

Father: Kids, let's hear some suggestions as to where to go for vacation.

Subordinate: I recommend/advise the following course of action.

So my ranking would be in increasing order of severity:

1) advice
2) recommendation/advice [If pushed, I might suggest that recommendation is slightly stronger than advice.]

This is just my personal opinion, and others might disagree and reorder the ranking. Please check back to see if others have provided a different opinion.

MountainHiker
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