Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Advice and Suggestion

Several English words seem to confuse  people, especially on their applications. Second English language speakers and young native English speakers find themselves using words in the wrong context, which might make them be misinterpreted or misunderstood by the audience. Examples of such words include suggestion and advice, which people use so often in the wrong context. It is essential to note that the variance between the two terms so that one can use them effectively, especially to a formal audience.


Difference Between Advice and Suggestion1

What is Advice?

The word advice is mainly in the sense of counseling what a person should do concerning a specific phenomenon that he or she does not have a clear understanding. Advice can be the solution to the current problem. It is worth noting that advice is formal and involves both control and command because the person offering it has experience.

Sentence example: I received advice from my brother concerning grade improvements.


What is a Suggestion?

A suggestion is a plan or opinion given to an individual for consideration. One can get a suggestion from any person because the experience is not needed when one is offering it. Moreover, the person receiving the suggestion has the option of implementing it or discarding.


Sentence example: She suggested the easy functioning of the car battery.


Difference Between Advice and Suggestion1

Difference Between Advice and Suggestion

1) Formality in Advice and Suggestion

One of the primary difference between advice and a suggestion is the level of formality. Advice is considered formal while a suggestion is supposed to be casual. This is because the advice received can sometimes be the solution to the general problem. Moreover, advice constitutes command and control because the person offering it has experience and is knowledgeable in that area. This is not the same as the suggestion, which is just a clear plan or an opinion concerning the circumstance under consideration. It is important to record that the person offering a suggestion does not command or control because he is an opinion.

2) Experience level in Advice and Suggestion

The experience required when giving advice and offering a suggestion differs from one another. People who give advice are experienced and knowledgeable about the matter under consideration. They are professionals who have the necessary information, which explains why their advice commands while at the same time instituting control. People who give advice include the elderly, doctors, psychiatrists, managers, and military experts among others. Contrastingly, any person can suggest without considering their level of expertise, knowledge, or experience in the area under consideration.

3) Commercialization

It is important to highlight that marketing has emerged to be one of the significant differences between advice and suggestion in the recent times. People offering advice has commercialized the aspect by opening offices for consultancy services where professionals provide consultancy services in a certain area of specialization. Some of the most common consultancy services include career choice consultancy services, accounting and business consultancy services, and medical consultancy services among others. This not the same for suggestion services which cannot be commercialized because no input and professionalism are required to give an opinion.

4) Implementation of Advice and Suggestion

The degrees at which advice and suggestions are implemented tend to vary from one another with the implementation of advice being higher than that of suggestions. People tend to take and perform the advice they receive from experts because sometimes they amount to the solutions pertaining the current problems. Moreover, experts who are knowledgeable about a certain are, which makes people trust such people due to their knowledge levels, offer the advice. Lastly, an advice seeker is obligated to implement the advice because he or she spent some money seeking it from professionals and other consultancy services. On the other hand, implementation of the suggestions given by various people is deficient because people do not trust them since they are neither knowledgeable nor experienced in the area under consideration.

5) Consequences/Implications

Failure to adhere to the advice given by various professions may have negative outcomes to the recipient while failure to adhere to the suggestion given by various individuals may not have any consequences. It is important to highlight that some advice from other professions may be rigorous, commanding, and controlling failure to which recipients will suffer consequences. Considering advice from a doctor who advises a patient to use certain medicines after eating. If the patients take medicine before eating, he or she will experience complications, which might include the disease becoming more severe and rendering the medicine irrelevant. A suggestion amounts to an opinion or a plan given by an individual which failure to follow may not amount to any complications

6) Synonyms of Advice and Suggestion

Although many people have a perception that the two words mean the same and can be used interchangeably, various literature articles and research studies have shown that the terms are different and they do not mean the same. In fact, both terms have been found to have different synonyms and are not synonym to one another. Some of the synonyms of advice include guidance, input, recommendation, instructions, and adjuration among others. On the other hand, the synonyms of the term suggestion include clue, hint, offer, idea, plan, and intimation among others.


Difference Between Advice and Suggestion: Comparison chart

Difference Between Advice and Suggestion


Summary of  difference between Advice and Suggestion

  • Despite the term advice and suggestion portraying a significant number of differences, it is important to highlight that; both words are common nouns in the English language.
  • Understanding the meaning of each word is important because an individual will know how to use them effectively without confusing the audience.
  • Besides, it is necessary that one get the difference between the two terms so that he or she can attach different values, which may include implementation and consequences associated with advice or suggestions.


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  1. There are some interesting points here. Several of the statements are made without nuance, like “advice is formal”.

    My main point is that this article needs a good proof-read. There are at least these four problems:

    command or control because he is an opinion.

    One of the primary difference between

    People offering advice has commercialized

    Moreover, experts who are knowledgeable about a certain are, which makes people trust such people due to their knowledge levels, offer the advice.

  2. Very clear and appropriate and simple Language solution

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References :

[0]Image Credit: https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3856/33627967311_dc090ea7a0_b.jpg

[1]Image Credit: https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8472/8130059521_32b98437bb_b.jpg

[2]Cameron, Leanne. "Giving teaching advice meaning: The importance of contextualizing pedagogical instruction within the discipline." Outlooks and opportunities in blended and distance learning. IGI Global, 2013. 50-65

[3]Ehrenpreis, Irvin. Acts of implication: suggestion and covert meaning in the works of Dryden, Swift, Pope, and Austen. Univ of California Press, 1980

[4]Matsumura, Shoichi. "Learning the rules for offering advice: A quantitative approach to second language socialization." Language Learning 51.4 (2001): 635-679

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