Advise or Advice?

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Difference between "Advise" and "Advice"?

"Advise" and "advice" are easy to confuse because they look so similar.
  • Advise. "Advise" means "to give advice" or "to notify." For example:
    • Please advise me. I need you to advise me. correct tick
    • (Please give me advice. I need you to give me advice.)
    • I advised him I was leaving. correct tick
    • (I notified him I was leaving.)
    "Advise" is a verb. It rhymes with prize.
  • Advice. "Advice" means "help" or "a suggestion for a beneficial course of action." For example:
    • Please give me your advice. I need your advice. correct tick
"Advice" is a noun. It rhymes with price.

A Video Summary

Here is a short video summarizing the difference between "advice" and "advise."

More about "Advise" and "Advice"

For native English speakers, the confusion over "advise" and "advice" usually disappears when the pronunciation is made clear.
  • Advise rhymes with prize and size.
  • Advice rhymes with price and mice.
NB: The use of "advice" and "advise" has nothing to do with US or UK writing conventions.

Example Sentences with "Advise"

Here are some example sentences with "advise":
  • The rich are always advising the poor, but the poor seldom return the compliment. correct tick
  • Attach yourself to those who advise you rather than praise you. correct tick
  • Women will never be as successful as men because they have no wives to advise them. correct tick
  • I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it. correct tick

Example Sentences with "Advice"

Here are some example sentences with "advice":
  • Take my advice. I don't use it anyway. correct tick
  • He who can take advice is often superior to him who can give it. correct tick
  • Many receive advice, but only the wise profit from it. correct tick

A Trick to Spot "Advice"

If you're unsure whether to write "advice" or "advise," use the word "assistance" instead. If your sentence still makes sense, then you need "advice" not "advise." This infographic gives an example:
advice or advise
Infographic explaining when to use "advice" and "advise."
The "assistance"-substitution trick works because "advice" and "assistance" are both nouns. If you find yourself trying to use "assist," "assists," "assisting," or anything else other than "assistance," then "advice" is wrong.

Look at these two examples:
  • I offered my advice. correct tick
  • I offered my assistance. correct tick

A Little Trick to Spot "Advise"

Try using the verb "to assist" (in its various forms, e.g., "assisting," "assisted," "assists"). If the sentence still makes sense, then "advise" is almost certainly correct. This trick works because "to advise" is a verb, just like "to assist." (If you find yourself trying to use "assistance," then you should be using "advice".) For example:
  • Are you trying to advise me? correct tick
  • Are you trying to assist me? correct tick
  • I do not need your advise. wrong cross
  • I do not need your assistance. correct tick

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