In a tutorial setting, we often hear expressions such as "The method we are about to discuss will help you solve . . . " or "Let us consider a subject which demands some more practice," which are issued by a tutor to motivate a student to attend to forthcoming discourse. In this paper we model the meaning of these expressions in terms of their anticipated influence on the status of a listener’s goals, and use these predictions to produce motivational expressions and embed them in computer generated discourse. In particular, we have recognized relations which are instrumental in determining a listener’s motivational requirements in a hierarchical problem-solving domain. These ideas have been incorporated into a system called FIGMENT which generates commentaries on the solution of algebraic equations.