Blog - Proofreading and Copy Editing

Homophones III

So, its time to analyse advice and advise. This one is pretty simple. All you have to do is remember that one is a verb and one is a noun.

  1. Advice is a noun, ‘guidance or recommendations offered with regard to prudent action’ (OED).

For example: I gave my daughter some fatherly advice.

  1. Advise is the verb, ‘to offer suggestions about the best course of action to someone’ (OED).

For example: I would like to advise you of the strict guidelines.

The easiest way to remember the difference when writing is to read your sentence aloud. The two words have subtle differences in pronunciation and this should alert you if you have used the wrong spelling!

Advice: /əd’vʌɪs/

Advise: /əd’vʌɪz/



Another pair of similar homophones is practice and practise. Again, the difference is that practice is a noun and practise is a verb. Unfortunately these cannot be distinguished by pronunciation as both are pronounced the same (/’praktɪs/).


I need to practise in order to improve.

It is easy to say, but harder to do in practice.

NB In US English ‘practice’ is the spelling used for both the noun and the verb!

In general, remember that the ‘c’ in practice/advice indicates that it is a noun, and the ‘s’ in advise/practise indicates that it is a verb.

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