Tuesday, 2 April 2013

I Advise you to Get Advice

Oh, our tricky, tricky English language. No wonder so many travellers in our lands have such trouble determining which words to use.

I was emptying out my inbox the other day, and came across a note I had written, on a usage rule.

There are three word pairs which are all quite similar: practice/practise, licence/license and advice/advise. Of the three, only advice and advise are pronounced differently. Each of the pair has one form that is a noun, and the other, a verb. The 'c' form is the noun; the 's' the verb; thus advice is a noun, advise is a verb.

To check which to use, replace either practice or licence with advice/advise. Whichever works - sounds correct - is the one you should use. But the real trick of this is that in NZ we now use practice and licence for all usages.

Have you seen it used both ways recently?

Sam

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