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'Advice' or 'Advise'? What Is the Difference? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 12 August 2023)


Advice vs Advise: Understanding the Difference

Have you ever been confused about when to use advice and when to use advise? You are not alone! Despite their similar appearance and pronunciation, these two words serve different purposes and convey distinct meanings in English.

Advice is an uncountable noun that refers to suggestions or guidance given to someone about what they should do in a particular situation. Since advice is uncountable, it does not have a plural form and cannot be used with the indefinite articles (a or an):

I need some advice on how to improve my public speaking skills.
I need some advise on how to improve my public speaking skills.
I need some advices on how to improve my public speaking skills.

When it comes to dating, one piece of advice is to be honest and openly communicate your expectations and feelings.
When it comes to dating, one piece of advise is to be honest and openly communicate your expectations and feelings.
When it comes to dating, an advice is to be honest and openly communicate your expectations and feelings.

My English teacher once gave me a great piece of advice: always proofread your work for grammatical and spelling mistakes.
My English teacher once gave me a great piece of advise: always proofread your work for grammatical and spelling mistakes.
My English teacher once gave me a great advice: always proofread your work for grammatical and spelling mistakes.

On the other hand, advise is a verb that means 'to offer guidance or give advice to someone':

I would advise you to take the bus to the concert, as parking near the venue is limited.

Could you advise me on the best solution to this problem?

✅ The doctor advised him to abstain from alcohol while on medication.

In addition to their grammatical differences, advice and advise also have slightly different pronunciations. The main distinction is that the noun advice (/ədˈvaɪs/) has a shorter vowel sound (/aɪ/) compared with the verb advise (/ədˈvaɪz/), causing advice to ryhme with ice, and advise with size.

By understanding these distinctions, you can use these two words with confidence and accuracy.

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Examples from the Media

In addition to House of Commons help, the rookies are also getting lots of advice from their new colleagues. CBC (2011)

The survey of 2,000 people revealed that three-quarters of adults can recount a piece of advice given to them in their early years, while 80% of over-60s regularly refer back to these nuggets. Daily Mail (2014)

Sign me up. Kapoor is already working on the second volume of a projected trilogy. I have only one word of advice: Hurry. The Washington Post (2022)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been advised to try and engage with a rising and assertive China by his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong before Mr Morrison's first face-to-face meeting with US President Joe Biden in Britain. The Sydney Morning Herald (2021)

Advising government ministers during the Covid-19 pandemic has been some of the most challenging yet satisfying work Nat Christensen has done. Otago Daily Times (2020)

Practice

Choose the correct words to complete the sentences.

1. I would advice/advise you to start studying for the exam well ahead of time to ensure better results.

2. The professor gave us valuable advice/advise on how to develop our critical thinking skills.

3. I want to stress the importance of following your doctor's advice/advise for a speedy recovery.

4. Our coaches always advice/advise us to communicate openly and honestly with one another.

5. It is always wise to seek professional advice/advise before making a major financial decision.

Answer Key

1. advise    2. advice    3. advice    4. advise    5. advice

Recommended Further Reading

'Advice' or 'Advices'? Which One Is Correct?

Real-World Examples of Misuse

1. Alternatively, you could write a small business.
2. Advice (noun) is required instead of advise (verb).
3. The plural should be used. Otherwise, the implication is that the financial consultants have just one customer.

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