Advise/Advice, Prophesy/Prophecy, Cite/Site/Sight--Which Should I Use?
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Advise/Advice, Prophesy/Prophecy, Cite/Site/Sight--Which Should I Use?

Using words that are very similar like prophesy and prophecy, advise, advice, or sound alike, like cite, site, and sight causes writers extra concern to make sure their words say and mean what they intend. For your writing to be authoritative and respected, you must makes sure you say what you mean.

The English language can be very confusing even to people who are native English speaking because of the similarity of the spelling or the meaning and use of the word.

I have chosen three sets of words that sound alike, but have different meanings.

Advise and Advice

Advise is a verb. Pronounce the s like a z   It means to give someone instructions or guide them in a choice.Example:  I would advise you to take the shorter route to save time.

Advice is a noun. Pronounce the c like an s. I means the help someone give you.  Example:  Her advice was not helpful.

If these words have been a problem for you, practice writing them in sentences.

Prophesy and Prophecy 

Like adivce and advise, prophesy and prophecy have only one letter different and again, like advise and advise, the difference is the change from c to s or s to c.

Prophecy is a noun. It is pronounced pro-fe-ce with a long e.  It means the prediction of a future action or event. Example:  The prophecy of the general was that we would win the war.  

Prophesy is a verb. It is pronounced pro-fe-si with a long i.   It means that someone will tell what is going to happen.  Example:  Isaiah came to Israel to prophesy destruction.

Cite, Site, and Sight

These words are pronounced exactly the same, but there is no relation between them

Cite is aq verb, and it  means to refer to another source of information.  Example:  In the English paper, you must cite your sources in the footnotes.

Site is a noun, and means a location. Example: The site of the new house in the hill with the driveway on 5th street.

Sight can be a noun or a verb depending on how you use it.  It means vision or being able to see.  Example:  The young mother kept her children in sight when they played.

Noun:The gun was not accurate, so the man corrected the sight.

As a verb it means to see or identify a distant object.  The hunter sighted the deer.

You may find many words that are like these and have different meanings depending on usage.  Be cautious of them until you know what they mean, even if you have to look them up in the dictionary.

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Comments (2)

Excellent! These are words that I get confused with too. 

Thanks Karen.  I appreciate you support.