Advice (ædvaɪs) and advise (ædvaɪz) look and sound similar. Advice is a noun (thing or idea) that means ‘an opinion that offers a recommendation, suggestion or information’ – e.g. The teacher’s advice was to study every day’. Advise is a verb (action) that means ‘to tell someone what you think they should do’ – e.g. My friend advised me to take a holiday’.
Advice or Advise?
The easiest way to remember the difference between advice (noun) and advise (verb) is to ask yourself: Is it a recommendation (noun) or is an action (verb) that means ‘to suggest something to someone’?
If you follow this rule, you will use the right word every time.
In almost any situation, you can use either advice (noun) or advise (verb) to express the same thing. Both words can be used in the past, present or future, but they need different sentence structures.
|Tense||Advice (noun)||Advise (verb)|
|Past||Dave’s bad advice made Sue lose her job.||Dave advised Sue badly and she lost her job.|
|Present||Giving good advice is usually difficult.||It’s usually difficult to advise someone well.|
|Future||Your manager will give you advice when the data arrives.||Your manager will advise you when the data arrives.|
With the noun advice, we often use the verb give to form the sentence. We use advise like any other verb (past: advised, present: advise, future: will advise). Advise changes in the sentence (advised, advising, will advise…), but advice (noun) always stays the same.
Another great way to tell the difference between advice (noun) and advise (verb) is to remember that the -ice in advice is another noun: the word ice.
Here are some examples of correct and incorrect usage of advice and advise:
Advice (noun) means: ‘an opinion that offers a recommendation, suggestion or information’
Synonyms: recommendation, suggestion, instruction, notification.
Common collocations: Give advice (offer someone an opinion, information or a recommendation); take advice (follow someone’s opinion, information or recommendation).
Examples with advice (noun) in a sentence:
Advise (verb) means: ‘to tell someone what you think they should do’
Synonyms: consult, counsel, warn, caution, recommend, suggest, propose.
Set expressions: Use the adverb strongly with advise for emphasis – e.g. I strongly advise that you visit the doctor; ill-advised – e.g. Smoking restaurants is ill-advised these days.
Examples with advise (verb) in a sentence:
We advise you to try these exercises to test your knowledge of advice and advise. After all these pieces of advice, you should be able to advise your friends about these two words!
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