"-se" vs. "-ce"

Here comes another bummer. 😀

How many times did you have to wonder if a word is spelt with an “-se” or a “-ce“? Many students and even adults are unsure if there is a difference between:

  • advice” and “advise
  • practice” and “practise

Yes, there is a difference but it has nothing to do with them being American English or British English.

  • advice (n.)an opinion that someone offers to you about what you should or should not do
  • advise (v.)the act of giving opinion to someone about what you should or should not do


  • practice (n.)regular action to improve your skill
  • practise (v.)the act of doing something regularly to improve your skill


advice vs. advise

  1. I gave him some advice ( = opinion ) before he left abroad.
  2. Take my advice and get a doctor to look into your health problem.
  3. Could you please advise ( = give opinion to ) your students on the importance of consultation hours?
  4. Dad had advised me to stay away from bad hats, but I refused, so now I’m in deep trouble.

practice vs. practise

  1. To do well in grammar, you need plenty of practice ( = regular action ).
  2. The coach said there is a football practice this afternoon.
  3. Practise ( = do regularly ) makes perfect, so keep practising until you can play the piano well.
  4. You have to be serious when you practise, or else you’ll not improve.

So, good people, I’m advising you to practise using verbal and written English as much as you can because without practice, you’ll not be good at it. Take my advice 🙂


Posted on February 11, 2010, in Jottings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. *Just fainted*

    Sir, I’m practising using verbal and written English as much as possible but am still confused from time to time. Can you please advise when do I use ‘peek’ and ‘peep’? All I know is when to use ‘pee’ 😀

  2. Hi, Kevin,
    From where I stand, it looks like the differences you listed are today well above the comprehension of most of the public. Funny, all of us learned (about) them at school, yet so many people managed to willfully turn them into unnecessary nuisance. The proverbial child they throw away with this bath are the logic, precision and courtesy of sensible communication. What’s even worse, today many do vigorously defend their right to speak and write badly, and all that concerns my fellow piano teachers, and quite a number of journalists.
    I believe that intelligent and good people of the future generations deserve better heritage from us, and that they shouldn’t be burdened with the need to improve the language, so I thank you for writing this.
    P. K., Vancouver, B.C.

  3. I usually differentiate by noun (ce) and verb (se). It needs patience and practice to learn English correct? Happy CNY to you!! May the year of Tiger brings abundance of luck and joy to you and family.

  4. Sir Wishing you all the very best in the Year of the Tiger. GongXiFaCai..

  5. In the year of the Tiger received some sms about roaring tiger. Sir which is more appropriate to use? Roar or growl? Often heard that lions roar and tigers growl? tQ.

    • Both animals roar and growl. When they roar, it’s a sign that they’re very angry. When they growl, it’s an early warning sign that you have to get out of there.

      For Chinese New Year 2010, it is hoped that the ROARing tiger brings lots of luck – the louder the roar, the better the luck 🙂

  6. Gotcha thanks so much.

    May the ROARing Tiger reverberate the Lunar Year filled with great abundance, health & prosperity to you & your family.

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