Writing FCE – Writing an informal letter – Giving advice (cho lời khuyên)



Your foreign friend wants to visit your country. He/She has written to you for advice and information. Write a letter to your friend, giving advice about the best place to spend a holiday and telling him/her what clothes and other equipment to pack.

Write your letter, giving advice to your friend (140-180 words).

I. Before writing, answer these questions

  1. Are you going to write a new letter, or reply to one?

(Bạn sẽ viết một lá thư mới hay trả lời cho một người nào đó?)

A reply

  1. How many topics are there in your letter? What are they?

(Có bao nhiêu chủ đề trong lá thư của bạn? Những chủ đề đó là gì?)

Two topics: one is where to go, and the other is what to pack

  1. Who is going to read your letter?

(Ai sẽ đọc lá thư của bạn?)

A friend

  1. What does your reader want to know?

(Người đọc muốn biết cái gì?)

Your opinions on what to pack and the best places to visit

II. Brainstorm the topic

III. Model letter

Dear Rachel,

Thanks for your letter! It was great to hear all your news. I was very happy to read that you wanted to visit Portugal this summer.

If you want to have a relaxing holiday by the sea, I would recommend my favourite place, Lagos. It’s a traditional fishing village on the south coast, and not many tourist go there. It has many reasonably-priced hotels, and excellent beaches nearby. The sea is very clean and wonderful for diving and snorkelling.

You asked me about what clothes and equipment to bring. If I were you, I would pack very little – a swimsuit, some T-shirts, and shorts for the beach. My advice is to travel light, so you can fill your suitcase with souvenirs to remind you of Portugal!

I hope that you’ll enjoy yourself in Lagos. If you want to know anything else, just drop me a line.

Best wishes,



There are 4 paragraphs in the letter

Paragraph 1 = introduction: reactions to Rachel’ letter

Paragraph 2 =  where to go : the name of the place, a brief description of the place,        the reason why it is a good place.

Paragraph 3 = what to pack: advice about clothes and equipment

Paragraph 4 = conclusion: wishes for a good holiday, offer of help

IV. Use of language

If you want to …, I would recommend …

If I were you… , I would …

My advice is to …

It would be a good idea to …

You should/ shouldn’t …

Don’t forget to …


I were you, I would bring plenty of suntan lotion because the sunlight is really strong.

My advice is to bring plenty of suntan lotion because…

It would be a good idea to bring plenty of suntan lotion because…

You should bring plenty of suntan lotion because…

Don’t forget to bring plenty of suntan lotion because…


Exam practice: write a letter

You have received a letter from a foreign friend. This is part of the letter:

As part of my studies, I have to write about places of historical interests in a foreign country. When I come to stay with you, I’d like to visit some important historical sights. What do you think are the best places to see? And what should I pack?

Write a letter, giving advice to your foreign friend (140-180 words)

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