Advice or Advise: Which Should I Use?

Advise and advice look and sound very similar, however, understanding which is the right word to use can be confusing.  The good news is it’s straightforward once you get the hang of it. First, you need to understand the basic difference between the two words, then I’ll explain how to use them, so you can get it right every time.

“Advise” is a verb, which is a word that describes an action or state. When pronounced, the S in advise should sound like a Z, as with words such as comprise and advertise.

“Advice” is a noun, which is a word used to name or label something such as a person, thing, or place.

Now you understand the basic differences between advice and advise, let’s look at how we should use these words in a sentence.

When To Use “Advise” In A Sentence

As the word advise is a verb, it means it’s performing a function or action. To advise is the action of offering information or opinion to recommend the best solution.

For example:

“The bank can advise the borrower regarding their mortgage application.”

“I advise you not to take that route, as the roads are very congested.”

Here are some examples of how “advise” can be used with a suffix*:

*A suffix is an ending that can be added to a word to form a derivative.

“If you need more information, one of our advisors can help you.”

“I will take that under advisement.”

“You have been advised against it.”

“I’m advising you against that course of action.”

When To Use ‘Advice’ In A Sentence

As ‘advice’ is a noun, it generally means that it’s naming something. In this case, it is the name given to guidance offered or a recommendation.

For example:

“My advice would be to get a dog.”

“Your advice was a great help.”

“The advice provided helped me to decide what to do next.”

Above, I gave examples of how various suffixes could be used with the word “advise”. This is another difference between the two words, as ‘advice’ is what is known as an unaccountable noun. In English, some nouns are considered to be a whole or a mass. These grammatical anomalies are referred to as uncountable nouns, meaning they can’t be separated or quantified.

For example:

I could give you a “piece of advice”, “my advice” or “some advice”, but it wouldn’t be grammatically correct for me to say “these are my advises” even if I were to offer you more than one piece of advice or a few recommendations. “Advice” should always be used in the singular form.

Make It Easy To Remember

In the simplest form, “advice” is the name of the action and “advise” is the action itself. 

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About Gemma Wright

I'm Gemma Wright, co-owner of ProCopyTips and a freelance PR consultant and copywriter. Having worked as a PR Manager for large financial services companies in the UK, I now focus on helping small and growing businesses to thrive through the power of effective communications.

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