Advice or Advise?

There are so many difficulties in the English language that many people consider it one of the hardest to learn. Many words are spelled differently but sound alike and a few are spelled the same but sound different.  It doesn’t matter at all when we’re only speaking those words but it can make a world of difference when writing them!

A person writing a resume and cover letter could be unknowingly making mistakes that can keep him/her from getting the job.  A journalist could embarrass themselves and the publication they are writing for if certain mistakes are made.  Professional letters and articles are written every day and our lack of knowledge or spelling skills tend to be somewhat evident at a very inopportune time.

Today, I am embarking on a new Category:  Word & Spelling Dilemmas.  The words I’ve chosen for this first post are:  ADVICE and ADVISE.

ADVICE is a NOUN.  A noun is the name of a person, place or thing.  Some people think that a noun has to be something you can see, feel or touch but that’s not true.  Let’s talk about the definition we have.

First question…is it a person?  Nope
Second question…is it a place?  Nope
Third question…is it a thing?  Yes…and we’ll discuss that in a moment…

Let’s talk about how to SAY it, first…and how to REMEMBER it, as well.  I like to find little tricks that help remember things.  In this case, ADVICE has the word ICE in it.  We all know how to pronounce ICE.  It has that essss sound, doesn’t it?  Now, let’s just point out the obvious strange thing that confuses everyone.  The “C” actually says “S”!  Whew!  You can see why people get so confused.  You’ll learn a little more about this when we get to the next word, ADVISE.

But for now, let’s discuss how ADVICE is a thing and how we can remember it.  We’ve already talked about how ICE is in the word and we all know that ICE is a THING because we can HOLD IT in our hands…even if we can’t do it for long!  😉  So, if you put it all together, ADVICE is something we GIVE OTHERS, ICE is something we can even give others, it’s a noun…and the way you remember to spell it with a “C” is because of the word ICE.

Okay, let’s move on to ADVISE.  There is a strange rule in English that says when an “S” is in between vowels, it often SAYS “Z”!  Let’s look at some examples:

It becomes very clear WHY everyone is so confused over these words.  ADVISE is a VERB because a VERB is something we DO.  In this case, we ADVISE someone about something, we tell them what to do or not do…with the emphasis on the word TELL.

So, let’s look at what we’ve learned…or at least I HOPE we’ve learned!  I sincerely HOPE I haven’t LOST you altogether!  🙂

ADVICE is a NOUN…a thing…and we remember how to say it AND spell it because it actually says, “ICE”…which is another NOUN.

ADVISE says “Z” because of that silly phonics rule of the “s” between vowels.  Think of the “z” as being a backward “s”…or that the “s” is a backward “z”.whatever works for you.  Also, it’s a VERB…it’s something we DO.

Here’s a funny statement you might try remembering:

“If you want to be happy, I advise you to take my advice!”

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