The word Practice – which way to spell it?

Is the word Practice, or should it be Practise ?

Another small but significant difference between English and American English
is the spelling of the word Practice.

In the U.K. (also probably Australia / New Zealand, South Africa and possibly Canada), the word Practice as a NOUN is spelt using a C (e.g. a Doctor’s practice meaning his business / clinic), but the VERB to Practise, is spelt with an S (For example: Practising your English vocabulary).

This follows the same principle as ‘advice’ (noun) and ‘advise’ (verb). When you give someone ‘advice’, you are ‘advising’ them.
Another example is the noun ‘device’ (an object made for a particular purpose, e.g. A T.V. remote control is a device for turning on the television) and the verb ‘devise’ (to invent something or to form a plan in your mind, e.g. He devised a way to cross the river without getting wet.)

In American English however, when writing the word Practice, the C spelling is generally used for both the noun and the verb. To be absolutely correct in your English you should make a mental note of this, but if you find it difficult to remember, it is considered O.K. to use the C spelling for both.

Some more examples:

The practice = noun To practise = verb
The practice of playing well. To practise playing tennis.
I have finished my piano practice. I enjoy practising the piano.
The lawyer’s practice is in the town centre. He has been practising there for years.

So to be able to speak fluently and correctly for the country you are in, you should check out the differences between the English that we speak in Britain, and the English that is spoken in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and the many other countries that speak our language throughout the world.

Related Content:

British and American
Comparison of American and British English.
List of countries where English is spoken.

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