This question is a great way to give advice in a very soft, polite, and indirect way. When we use this question, we believe that another person should do something, and we are asking them to agree with us.
It is softer and more indirect than using "You should...".
Don't you think (that) you should + verb...?
- We should go. (Direct way of speaking)
- Don't you think that we should go? (More indirect way of speaking)
- Don't you think that you should eat healthier?
- Don't you think you should go home now? Your wife must be worried.
- Don't you think that you should stop drinking? You've already had 3 beers.
- Don't you think you should stop shopping now? You've already spent a lot of money.
- Don't you think you should quit smoking? Your health is getting worse.
- Don ‘t you think that you should go to bed now? You have to wake up early tomorrow.
- Don't you think you should study tonight? We have a test tomorrow.
- Don't you think you should prepare for your job interview instead of going to a party?
It is not common, but it is possible to use "should not". It is a little awkward to use the word "not" two times. So, most native English speakers do not use it a lot, but we might hear some people use it.
- Don't you think you should not buy that coat.? You already 4 coats.
- Don't you think you shouldn't go out tonight? You have to wake up early tomorrow.
- Don't you think you shouldn't have any more coffee? You've already had 4 cups.
When we are talking about another person's situation or our own situation with other people, then we can use this sentence pattern. Don't you think (that) + noun + should + verb...?
Bonus Tips and Points
- Don't you think we should go now?
- Don't you think our company should give us more money?
- Don't you think that they should move to a new neighborhood?
- Don't you think we should try to save more money?
- Don't you think that he should find a new job?
- Don't you think she should break up with her boyfriend?
- Don't you think Mark should ask Tina to marry him?
1. We can also use this to ask about the opinion of another person or group of people.
- Doesn't everybody think he should be fired?
- Doesn't your family think you should study medicine at university?
- Doesn't your wife think you should accept the job offer?
- Doesn't he think he should stop smoking?
2. We can make a very similar question by using "need" instead of "should". Remember that "need" is stronger than "should".
Real-World English Conversations
- Don't you think that he needs to break up with his girlfriend?
- Don't you think we need to leave now?
- Don't they think that they need to change something in their relationship?
A) Let's have one more drink.
B) Don't you think we should go home?
A) Don't you think we should stay home this weekend because it is going to rain?
B) I think that is a good idea.
A) I'm going to buy this.
B) Don't you think you should shop around and see if you can find a better deal?
A) You are probably right, but I want this coat. So, I will buy it.
A) Don't you think he should spend more time with his family?
B) Yes, but he has a very hard job.
A) Don't you think we should take an umbrella?
B) Why? Is it supposed to rain?
A) Yes, I heard it will rain later.
A) Don't you think that we should leave earlier than 9?
B) No. If we leave at 9, then we will have plenty of time.
A) Are you sure?
B) Yes. Don't worry. I've made this drive many times.
A) Don't you think you should study English more if you want to work in the international sales department?
B) You are probably right. Use these free English lessons to learn the most common sentence patterns in the English language. If you learn these sentences and questions, it will help you speak English well. Study the lessons thoroughly, practice making your own sentences, and come back to review often. If you do these three steps, your English speaking will improve quickly and you will be able to have natural English conversations.