Some More Confusables

Here are some more confusing pairs of words that you might want to jot down in your notebook. In these kinds of words, remember that the letter C sounds the way it does in the word ice and the letter S like a Z–as in the word size:

Advice and Advise: You give advice (noun) and you advise (verb) a friend to not drink and drive.

Device and Devise: If you can’t get that device (noun) to work, you might try to devise (verb) a plan to jerry-rig it.

Another common mix-up I’ve seen is with the use of prophecy and prophesy. It’s easy to keep this straight if you remember the letter C sounds like see. A prophet sees a prophecy, but he will sigh when he prophesies (a good way to remember the difference). And I often see something like “He prophesized.” There is no such word, but people (including pastors at the pulpit) say it a lot.

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