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Spelling: –ce vs. –se
It is easy to get confused between nouns and verbs that are spelled almost identically. However, here is a simple rule that will help you with two sound-alike pairs of words.
Rule: Generally, the verb form will be spelled with the "s" and the noun with the "c."
advise vs. advice
devise vs. device
Example: She gave us good advice.
Noun meaning recommendation.
Example: Please advise us of our options.
Verb meaning the act of giving a recommendation.
To learn more about confusing words and homonyms, click here.
Due to the E-Newsletter's large readership, please submit your English usage questions through GrammarBook.com's "Grammar Blog."
Choose the correct word in the sentences below. Scroll down to view answers.
1. They have to device/devise a foolproof plan to make sure she is surprised on her birthday.
2. The dentist has a new device/devise for cleaning teeth.
3. Whoever devised/deviced this dental instrument must not have had very sensitive teeth.
4. I would advice/advise you to allow the hygienist to try it on a few teeth before committing to it.
5. No amount of advice/advise can substitute for experience.
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Typo in Commas, Part 7
Thank you to several readers who pointed out that dependent was misspelled (dependant) in last week's grammar tip. How embarrassing, especially since independent was spelled correctly both in the sentence immediately prior and the one immediately after the offending sentence. The error has been corrected in the Grammar Blog section of the website where you can find all of the grammar tips we have issued since 2006.
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When I saw my first grey hairs I thought I’d dye.
A criminal's best asset is his lie ability.
The magician got so mad he pulled his hare out.
Pop Quiz Answers
1. They have to devise a foolproof plan to make sure she is surprised on her birthday.
2. The dentist has a new device for cleaning teeth.
3. Whoever devised this dental instrument must not have had very sensitive teeth.
4. I would advise you to allow the hygienist to try it on a few teeth before committing to it.
5. No amount of advice can substitute for experience.
Learn all about who and whom, affect and effect, subjects and verbs, adjectives and adverbs, commas, semicolons, quotation marks, and much more by just sitting back and enjoying these easy-to-follow lessons. Tell your colleagues (and boss), children, teachers, and friends. Click here to watch.