I have written this sentence without the before the word advice:

I will give you advice on how to buy the best car wax for your car.

But I have learned that extra information makes the object definite.

For instance:

Our company will pay the cost of your plane ticket to Rome.

The smart phone that I bought is great.

Because of the above mentioned, should I use the definite article before advice? As I understand right, the next sentence "how to buy the best car wax for your car" should make the object definite. So then:

I will give you the advice on how to buy the best car wax for your car.

Is this OK?

2 Answers 2


Do not use 'the'. You could either say "I will give you some advice" or leave it as you have it. I can understand your point, but as a native English speaker, it would sound very awkward if somebody said, "I will give you the advice."

So, in short, the way you had it was fine. :) I think "some advice" flows a little better, but they're both equally correct.

  • 2
    I'll note that yes "the advice" doesn't fit in this context, but there are cases where "the advice" may be found. "I'll give you the advice you asked for"
    – eques
    Sep 15, 2017 at 14:41
  • 1
    I agree with you. However, "the advice" is only spoken of in a definite context when there has been an earlier reference to it. I am unable to think of a single instance otherwise where "the advice" would fit. It's primarily used to reference advice relating to the past. Sep 15, 2017 at 15:07

This is a tricky point. Extra information only sometimes makes a noun phrase definite. The rule you mention is fine as a "rule of thumb", but you cannot rely on it to be accurate in all cases. Your intuition gave the better answer in this case.

In this particular case, it doesn't sound natural to include the definite article. The noun phrase "advice on how to buy the best car wax for your car" is indefinite because there could be different kinds of advice about this topic, and you are only giving "some advice" of this type. The extra information doesn't fully specify the noun phrase. So,

I will give you advice on how to buy the best car wax for your car.

is correct.

A definite article would be used with "advice" in contexts like the following:

  • "We give the best advice." (It is assumed that "the best" of something is a specific thing, and therefore definite)

  • "I will give you the same advice that I gave him." (I gave him some specific tips, so "advice" in this sentence is specific)

  • "The advice I gave her was to go early in the day." (This is a particular piece of advice that I am talking about)

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