Prophecy or Prophesy?

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Difference between "Prophecy" and "Prophesy"?

"Prophecy" and "prophesy" are easy to confuse.
  • "Prophecy" is knowledge of the future (from a divine source).
    • It was an accurate prophecy. correct tick
    • ("Prophecy" is a noun.)
  • "Prophesy" means to predict the future (with divine inspiration).
    • He will prophesy the future of mankind. correct tick
    • ("Prophesy" is a verb.)
Click to hear how "prophecy" and "prophesy" are pronounced:

prophecy or prophesy?

Prophecy

"Prophecy" is a noun. (The last syllable of prophecy is pronounced "sea.") A prophecy is "knowledge of the future," usually said to have come from a divine source.

Example sentences with "prophecy":
  • The prophet has revealed his latest prophecy in which three cities are razed to the ground. correct tick
  • On the second day of the course, we will study the prophecies of Nostradamus. correct tick
  • ("Prophecies" is the plural of "prophecy.")

Prophesy

"Prophesy" is a verb. (The last syllable of prophesy is pronounced "sigh.") "To prophesy" means "to predict the future" - usually with divine inspiration.
PersonPersonal PronounConjugation of "To Prophesy"
First Person Singular I prophesy
Second Person Singular you prophesy
Third Person Singular he/she/it prophesies
First Person Plural we prophesy
Second Person Plural you prophesy
Third Person Plural they prophesy
The past tense and the past participle are "prophesied."

Example sentences with "prophesy":
  • He prophesies a great war between East and West. correct tick
  • He prophesied that a flood would cover the Earth. correct tick
  • (This is an example of "to prophesy" in the past tense.)

Beware

There is no such word as "prophesize" (or "prophesise" small British flag).
  • He will prophesize the future of mankind. wrong cross
  • (This should be "prophesy.")
  • He often prophesizes for money. wrong cross
  • (This should be "prophesies.")

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See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? pled guilty or pleaded guilty? who's or whose? List of easily confused words

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