CELPIP Speaking Structures for Task 1

Structures to use in the CELPIP Speaking Giving Advice Question

There are essentially three CELPIP Speaking Task 1 structures you can rely on when offering someone advice about something. The topic of the advice really doesn’t matter. You could be offering them advice about renting a car or taking a bus, buying groceries or choosing a movie, suggesting a restaurant or renting an apartment, getting along with neighbours or delivering a presentation.

When CELPIP asks you to offer someone advice about something, the examiners are looking to see how well you use:

The imperative:

The imperative is the structure you see when you read a recipe or instructions about how to do something. A recipe will tell you to ‘fry the onions’ or ‘turn on the oven’. A set of instructions might tell you to ‘attach the boards with screws.’ Essentially, the structure uses the ‘you’ form of the simple present tense to communicate the action that the speaker or writer wants someone to do. Using the imperative as one of your CELPIP speaking task 1 structures can definitely help to improve your score.

The Subjunctive

We use the subjunctive to describe a hypothetical scenario or emphasize the importance or urgency of a action. We typically use it with the verbs: recommend, suggest, insist, demand, request or suggest. The hardest thing about it is remembering that this verb adjusts the tense to the present, past, or future. It’s followed by the infinitive without ‘to’. In other words, with a sentence like this, ‘I suggest that he leave early’, the past form would be, ‘I suggested that he leave early’. Using the subjunctive as one of your CELPIP speaking task 1 structures can help to improve your score.


We use modals to temper our suggestions. Modals include words like: should, could, can, will, would, might, must, and may. In other words, if I was giving someone some advice about renting a car, I would say something like, “You should check the outside of the car for scratches before you leave the lot.’ Here, the word ‘should’ tempers my sentence and leaves the control over the final action to the person renting the car. Using modals as one of your structures in the CELPIP speaking task 1 question often helps to improve your score.

Click here for CELPIP Speaking Sample Answers

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *