"Advice" and "advise" are another of the many tricky word pairs English learners should pay special attention to. One small letter changes the pronunciation, meaning and usage, so be careful! Let's take a closer look at these two and some words closely related to them.
Let's begin with definitions. "Advice" is a noun that means "a suggestion or opinion about what someone should do." It is pronounced with two short syllables, the last one sounding like "ice" or "dice." Of the two main words we're discussing in this article, this is more commonly used in everyday conversations. Look at some examples.
As you can see, it’s common to ask for advice for serious decisions and for choices that aren't super important, so it's a very useful word.
We use the expression "take (someone's) advice" when we accept someone's suggestion.
Note that advice is uncountable. That means saying "a/an advice" is incorrect. However, you can say "a piece of advice."
Next is "advise," which is a verb! As mentioned earlier, this word is not as common as its noun form. Like advice, it also has two syllables, but the second syllable is longer and sounds like "eyes" or "tries." The meaning is "to offer suggestions about what should be done in a particular situation." It has a slightly formal nuance.
A more casual way to express the same idea is to use "tell."
Note that we added "a good idea" to make it sound less like a command or order.
Unlike advice, which sounds more casual and can come from friends, advising someone includes the nuance of authority, expertise or more knowledge than the other person.
Other forms and usages
Another noun form is “advisory,” which you can often hear in weather forecasts.
Advisory can also be an adjective! It's often used to describe groups of special people who make decisions, such as advisory boards or advisory committees.
Finally, we have the noun “advisor,” which is a person who gives advice to others, sometimes professionally. (Note that it's also sometimes spelled “adviser.”) This is similar to a counselor.
Asking for and giving suggestions is very common among friends and when talking with professionals, so you’ll have many chances to use these words in daily life. Remember the small differences and with a little practice, you’ll be using them both like a pro!