“Could you give me a few pointers?”

English Lesson: Could you give me a few pointers?

You're taking a martial arts class. You're practicing a technique, but you're not sure if you're doing it right. You ask a more experienced student to watch you and give you some advice.

Could you give me a few pointers?

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Could you (do something)?

Ask someone to do something with this phrase.

"Could you ___?" is pretty neutral, so you can use it in a lot of different situations: with people who are higher status, lower status, friends, strangers, etc. 

give (someone) pointers

To "give pointers" means to give someone little bits of advice.

You're not holding that quite right. Do you want me to give you a few pointers?

You can give someone pointers on things like:

  • some sports technique, like throwing a ball or shooting an arrow
  • how they cook something
  • how they deliver a speech
  • how they answer questions in a practice interview

"Giving pointers" is usually a positive, helpful thing. When someone gives advice that you don't want, you can instead say that they are "nitpicking" or "criticizing" you.