Practice, practise, advice, advise etc.

These words are often confused. Those forms that end in ce or cy are nouns. The other forms that end in se or sy are verbs. That means ‘advice’ is a noun, whereas ‘advise’ is a verb. In the same way, prophecy is a noun, whereas prophesy is a verb.


  • He gave me some advice. (Advice – noun)
  • I hate people who advise me. (advise – verb)
  • I practise the piano every day. (practise – verb)
  • You just need some practice. (practice – noun)
  • Some of her prophecies have come true.
  • The Mayans prophesied that the world would end in 2012.

Hoard and horde

These words are often confused. Both hoard and horde rhyme with board and ford.

Hoard is a verb. To hoard something is to store it away for future use. This is not exactly an honest practice. For example, merchants often hoard grains like rice and wheat when there is a shortage. By secretly storing grains away, they can further reduce their availability in the market. This will increase their prices. And when prices rise, the same merchants will sell these grains at a huge profit. Hoarding food grains is a punishable offence in many countries.

Horde is a noun. It is used to refer to a large gathering of people.

  • Hordes of fans came to the stadium to cheer their team.