Learning English, Writing

Confused About “Advice” and “Advise”?

The English language includes many words that have a similar sound and meaning, yet they are used differently. Two such words that cause a lot of confusion are “advise” and “advice”. At TextRanch, our editors often find writing mistakes where a customer uses one word when the other one is actually correct. Therefore, we will take a closer look at “advise” and “advice” and how to use each one the right way.


“Advice” is a thing, so it is always a noun. Specifically, “advice” is a suggestion or recommendation offered to somebody about what they should do. The “c” in “advice” is pronounced like an “s”, the same as the “c” in words like “ceiling”, “cinnamon”, and “voice”.

“Advice” is an uncountable noun, which means it does not have a plural form. To put it another way, “advice” is always “advice”; it is never “advices”. We also don’t say “an advice”, although “some advice” and “the advice” are correct. This word is often used with the verbs “to give”, “to take”, and “to receive”.

Here are some example sentences:

Mr. Patel gave Kumar some good advice about which classes he should take next term.

Could you give me some advice about buying a used car?

Benny took his father’s advice and put his money in the bank instead of spending it on a skateboard.

Joey always takes advice from the boys across the street, but they only give him bad advice, never good advice.

The advice Grandma gave me about how to dress for a job interview was very helpful.


“Advise” is a always verb. It is never used as a noun. It means to offer suggestions or recommendations to someone, or to give them guidance. While “advise” is related to “advice”, keep in mind that “advice” is a thing while “advise” is an action.

Additionally, while “advise” does look similar to “advice”, the two words are pronounced differently. The “s” in “advise” has a “z” sound, the same as the “s” in words like “wise”, “eyes”, and “trees”.

The below sentences are similar to the ones we looked at earlier, except now we are using “advise” (a verb) instead of “advice” (a noun).

If you are looking for a teacher to advise you about which classes to take next term, you should talk to Mr. Patel.

I need someone who can advise me about buying a used car.

“I advise you to put your money in the bank,” said Benny’s father. “Don’t blow it all on a skateboard.”

The boys across the street always advise Joey to do stupid things that get him into trouble.

Grandma advised me on how to dress professionally for a job interview.

You may have noticed that this last example is written in the past tense, so “advised” is used instead of “advise”. This is to show you that, like all verbs, “advise” can be conjugated into different tenses. Here are some additional examples:

I advised Bobby not to pet the Smiths’ dog, but he did it anyway. (Here is another sentence with the past tense form of “advise”.)

Mr. Patel usually advises students to take classes that will challenge them. (This is the third person, present tense form of the verb.)

The doctor is advising Luigi not to exercise until his leg has healed. (The -ing ending indicates that this is a continuous/progressive form of the verb.)

I think I will advise Jessica not to go to the dance with Joey. (The use of “will” before “advise” means this is written in the future tense.)

How to remember the difference between “advice” and “advise”

If you are writing a sentence and you aren’t sure whether you should use “advice” or “advise”, try asking yourself the following questions:

  • Are you using the word with “get”, “give”, “take”, or “receive”? If so, then “advice” is probably correct.
  • Is the word a thing? If so, then “advice” is correct.
  • Is the word an action? If so, then “advise” is correct.
  • Can the word take on different forms or endings? If so, then “advise” is correct.

A trick

One trick to help you remember when to use “advice” instead of “advise” is to say to yourself, “I can receive advice from others, and they can receive advice from me.” Note that both “receive” and “advice” have the same “c” sound.

So if you’re in doubt about which word to use, think of “receive” and how its “c” matches the “c” in advice, but it doesn’t match the “s” in “advise”. (Also, “I can receive advise from others…” doesn’t make sense!)

If you are still unsure if you are using “advice” and “advise” the right way, click the blue box below. One of our TextRanch editors will correct your writing—and maybe give you some advice!

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