Following on from yesterday’s blog post about the words that I commonly misspell (Ha! Got it right first time!), I decided to share another issue that a lot of us have, and that is knowing when certain words have an “s” in them, and when they have a “c” in them.
- Advice / Advise
- Prophecy / Prophesy
- Licence / License
- Practice / Practise
- Device / Devise
The word that catches me out the most is definitely practice/practise, and I know that the two words have different meanings but I can just never remember.
The secret to figuring out whether each word has a “c” or an “s” is to look at the meaning of the word that you’re trying to write. For example:
The definition of “Advice” is:
As the word is described as an “opinion”, this makes the word a “thing”, or something that is being named, therefore this is a Noun.
On the other hand the definition of the word “advise” is:
to give someone advice
Therefore, the act of actually giving advice, making the word a “verb” – or a doing word.
As another example, the word practice would be used to describe the physical or metaphorical building, making it a Noun, whilst practise would be used to describe the action of what is practised within the practice.
- If it is a Noun, it is a word that is naming something specific
- This means that you spell it with a “c”
- If it is a Verb, it is a word that is describing the action of the Noun
- This means that you spell it with an “s”
Remember: Nouns Name, and Verbs Describe an Action.