Word Confusion: Advice versus Advise

Posted December 11, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Revised as of 14 October 2017

For some unexplainable reason, this one has never been a problem for me, but I can definitely see how it could be a problem for others. Keep in mind that advice is a noun, a person, concept, thing that a verb acts on. Advise is a verb, it goes into action, so consider using that s in advise. It could help you say something. I advise you to…

If anyone can think up a good reminder for that c in advice which reflects its definition, give me a call! Or, hey, advise me, ’cause I could sure use your advice!

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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Advice Advise
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: advise

Cover for a song

“Be Gentle to Your Mother”, a scan by New York Public Library, is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

It is advice.

A meeting of men around a table

“Shahzada Jama Nazir and PMDC Advise” is Shahzada Jamal Nazir’s own work under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons

Advising PMDC officials to take stringent action against bogus medical and dental school registrations.

Part of Grammar:
Plural (when countable): advices
Reporting Verb, intransitive & transitive

Third person present verb: advises
Past tense or past participle: advised
Gerund or Present participle: advising

Guidance or recommendation concerning prudent future action, usually given by someone regarded as knowledgable or authoritative

  • A formal notice of a financial transaction
  • [Archaic] Information
  • News

A communication, especially from a distance, containing information
An official notification, especially one pertaining to a business agreement
Recommendation as to appropriate choice of action

  • Counsel

[When countable] A formal notification of facts via email or as a letter (something that can be counted)

Verb, intransitive:
Offer suggestions about the best course of action for someone to take

To take counsel

  • [Mainly U.S. or obsolete; usually followed by with] Consult

Verb, transitive:
Offer suggestions about the best course of action for someone to take

  • Recommend something
  • Inform someone about a fact or situation, typically in a formal or official way
    • [Formal; sometimes followed by of] To inform or notify

To offer advice (to a person or persons)

She invested her savings on her brother’s advice.

Any author should get advice from a copyeditor or proofreader. *grin*

The company got their remittance advices.

There were fresh email advices from the Italian branch.

We received remittance advice in this morning’s mail.

He took my advice and put his house up for sale.

It was an overdue advice.

Verb, intransitive:
We advise against sending cash by mail.

I shall act as you advise.

I shall advise with my friends.

Verb, transitive:
I advised him to go home.

He advised caution.

“Go to Paris,” he advised.

Sleeping pills are not advised.

You will be advised of the requirements.

The lawyer advised the court that his client wished to give evidence.

The bartender advised him to go home.

The editor advised him to perform a spellcheck.

He advised the king to stand firm.

Noun: adviser, advisership, preadvice Noun: advisor
Verb, transitive: preadvise, preadvised, preadvising, readvise, readvised, readvising
History of the Word:
Middle English from the Old French avis, based on Latin ad (to) + visum (past participle of videre meaning to see). The original sense was way of looking at something, judgment, hence later an opinion given. Middle English from the Old French aviser, based on the Latin ad- (to) + visere, frequentative of videre (to see). The original senses included look at and consider, hence consider jointly, consult with others.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

Advice vs Advise by Scotti John is courtesy of The Writing Blog.

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