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.
Different word, same meaning:
|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:
- Jane advised her daughter to go to the doctor. (correct)
- Jane adviced her daughter to go to the doctor. (incorrect)
- The piano teacher had three pieces of advice for her student. (correct)
- The piano teacher had three advices for her student. (incorrect)
- My friend gave me some advice about how to manage my busy schedule. (correct)
- My friend gave me some advise about how to manage my busy schedule. (incorrect)
We cannot use the ending -s to quantify advice. There is no such thing as two advices, only two pieces of advice or some advice. This true for other non-count nouns in English. For example, we say four pieces of information or some information, but not four informations. The same is also true for the noun data.
What does advice mean?
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).
- A formal communication sent from a distance. This is the only rare exception to the advice-is-always-advice rule – e.g. Military advices sent by radio prevented further civilian casualties.
Examples with advice (noun) in a sentence:
- I wish my mum would stop trying to give me advice all the time!
- If I were you, I’d ask for some career advice at the Job Centre.
- Do you have any advice regarding my university application?
- John is thinking about quitting his job. What would your advice be?
- Don’t listen to Dave. He always gives terrible financial advice!
Advice (ædvaɪs) and advise (ædvaɪz) look similar, but that /s/ and /z/ make a big difference in pronunciation. If you see a word that ends in -ce, then you pronounce the -ce with an /s/ (like the sound a snake makes). If the word ends in -se or -s, its sound is a /z/ (like the sound a bee makes).
To check if you’re making the right sound, put your hand on your throat. If you say, advice, piece, ice
, then you feel no vibration in your throat. If you say, advise, peas, eyes
, you will feel a vibration in your throat. To see an exception to this rule, check out our guide to Practice vs. Practise
What does advise mean?
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:
- My doctor advised me to stop smoking.
- I advised Sarah to reconsider her move to London.
- I strongly advise you to consider a career in IT.
- We advise all drivers to take an alternative route to avoid roadworks.
- Can you advise the new staff on our company’s health and safety policy?
Quiz: Advice or advise?
We advise you to try these exercises to test your understanding of advice and advise. After all our advice, you should be able to advise your friends on the differences between these two confusing words in English!
- The gardener gave me three pieces of _______ about my plants.
- The judge_______ the burglar not to steal again.
- Shane said he had________ the neighbours to turn down the music or he would call the police.
- Have you got any _________on how to manage noisy neighbours?
- After a robbery, the police will _________ you to buy an alarm or a dog.
- The doctor said: “I strongly _________ you not to smoke during pregnancy”.
- Dan didn’t take his dad’s _______ about his career.
- The best ________ my parents gave me was to start saving money when I was young.
- The government is ________ members of the public to wear face masks.
- The book I’m reading gives some excellent parenting _________ for busy dads.