Word Choice – Advice Versus Advise

Tony’s question: “I was wondering if you can explain the difference between ‘advise’ and ‘advice’ and how to use them?”

BizWritingTip response: “Advice” and “advise” are among the most commonly misused words in English. “Advice” is a noun. According to the Oxford Canadian Dictionary, it means “words offered as an opinion or a recommendation about future action.”

Examples (the noun advice)
She frequently offers unsolicited advice.
You shouldn’t offer advice you wouldn’t follow yourself.

“Advise” is a verb. It means “to give advice to.”

Examples (the verb advise)
Please advise the client of our policy.
My lawyer has advised me to sign the papers.
So that’s my advice for this week.

If you want to test your knowledge, a short quiz follows.

Quiz

  1. I need to get some advice/advise from you.
  2. What would you advice/advise in this situation?
  3. Take my advice/advise and don’t quit your day job.
  4. That is not good advice/advise.
  5. I don’t advice/advise you to do that.

Answers: 1) Advice, 2) advise, 3) advice, 4) advice, 5) advise

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