Advice vs Advise - What's the difference?

What’s the difference between Advice and Advise?


The words advice and advise are often mixed up because of their closeness in spelling and meaning. It’s bad enough if you are a student making this common mistake in your writing - you’ll be surprised to know that many adults continue to use the two words incorrectly (sometimes interchangeably) in their professional emails to their bosses and clients. Yikes! Let’s get this cleared up today so you’ll know when to advise someone of the appropriate action to take, and to thank someone for their kind advice.

Advice is a noun:

*The ‘c’ in Advice is pronounced like an ’s’.

  1. guidance or recommendation

  2. a formal notice pertaining to a financial transaction/business agreement (e.g., remittance advice) (note: we will focus on the first definition today.)

You can give or receive advice, just as you can give or receive a recommendation or suggestion. Advice is an uncountable noun, which means you can’t have “an advice” or “many advices”. You can, however, use certain expressions that allow you to pluralise advice. For example, to give or receive “pieces of advice” or “words of advice”.

Advise is a verb:

*The ‘s’ in Advise is pronounced like an ’z’.

  1. to recommend or suggest

  2. to inform or notify

To advise is to suggest what should be done or to provide someone with information. In other words, to advise = to give advice.

Advice vs. Advice - How to use them correctly?


Test your understanding with the short exercise below! Fill in the blanks with either advice or advise in the appropriate form:


(A)

Here are a few words of _______ on how to do well for your English Language Paper.

Let me _______ you on how to tackle your essay writing component.


(B)

Upon learning that John was unwell, I _______ him to go home and rest.

I hope he takes my _______ and leaves the office soon.


(C)

We have decided to take your _______ and apply for the loan.

Please _______ us on the next steps to take.


(D)

The lawyer _______ me not to sign anything before reading all the documents carefully.

Thank you for your kind _______ .


Answers:

(A) advice; advise

(B) advised; advice

(C) advice; advise

(D) advised; advice

Was this helpful for you? What other words do you commonly get confused? Let us know in the comments below, and perhaps our next post can help bring you some clarity!

---------------------------------------------- For information on our English Language, English Literature and General Paper classes for Primary 5 to JC 2, please get in touch with us at +65 81386011, or drop us an email at enquiry@english-enrichment.com.

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