The phrase “please advise” can have a wide range of meanings, from “I appreciate your opinion” to “Would you #@*%#@# tell me how to resolve the mess that you caused?!!”
It’s generally advisable to avoid using “please advise” unless it’s entirely appropriate. Let’s find out how to use “please advise” correctly.
“Please advise” or “please advice”?
Some spellcheckers tend to underline the word “advise” and suggest that you write “please advice” instead of “please advise.” That’s based on legit grammar rules. If the verb “to advise” is seen as a transitive verb, it means that it requires an object. Since there’s no object in “please advise,” this idiomatic phrase would be grammatically incorrect.
However, it is not incorrect at all. Even though your spellchecker may see “advise” as a transitive verb, it can be intransitive too. In other words: take your spellchecker’s suggestions with a grain of salt, as “please advise” is a legit and grammatically correct phrase.
Is “advise” a transitive or intransitive verb?
The verb “to advise” can be both transitive and intransitive. It can have an object, or it can go without it.
Let’s see a couple of sentences that illustrate both variants:
I advised him to keep trying.
Police are advising the drivers to drive carefully.
I’d advise against driving fast.
They strongly advise wearing masks in public.
In all these examples, the verb advise is used in a grammatically correct way.
Is “please advise me” grammatically correct?
Absolutely. When we say “please advise me,” we’re using the verb advise as a transitive verb, and the word “me” is an object. Let’s see some examples.
Please advise me what to do.
Please advise me on a new hair color choice.
Please advise me on the best dog breed for families with children.
Please advise on this matter
The phrase “please advise on this matter” is a bit different. It doesn’t contain a direct object (e.g., “me”), so the verb “advise” is intransitive in this case. It is grammatically correct, but it may sound weird in some contexts.
In formal communication, this is a polite way to ask for someone’s opinion about some matter. If you don't feel comfortable using the phrase but still want to sound formal, you could say, “I'd appreciate your input on this,” or “Would you please share your opinion on this matter?”
In a less formal setting, the phrase above would come across as stuffy and inappropriate. Casual speech alternatives for “please advise on this matter” include “what you think about it?” “what do you think I should do?” “what would be the next step?” “what’s your thoughts on this,” “any thoughts on this matter?” and more.
“Please advise” in Email
In an email, the meaning of “please advise” depends on the content and the tone of the email. If you’re unsure how to respond to “please advise,” read the entire message carefully and respond to the main question. If “please advise” is added at the end of a message, it usually has the purpose of letting you know that the sender expects your input.
If you’re writing an email and looking for an alternative for “please advise,” you can use one of the sentences below, depending on the context.
I look forward to your response.
I appreciate your input.
Let me know what you think.
What’s your opinion?
Please get back to me as soon as you can.
Can you give me the information I need?
Or just go ahead and write “please advise.” As long as the rest of your email is polite and clear, there’s no reason to avoid using this phrase.