Lil' but Mighty English Blog - Vocabulary

Practice or Practise? What’s the Difference?!

Hello again! I’m Mr Joshua, a teacher at Lil’ but Mighty. I’m not sure if you remember, but previously, we took a look at the words “advice” and “advise”. They are two very commonly mistaken words, and students often use them interchangeably or wrongly. Today, we’re going to look at another pair of often mistaken words – “practice” and “practise”. Do I use -ice or -ise? What’s the difference? Ready to find out?

Just like in the earlier video, let’s first take a look at how the two words are used in the following sentences:

  1. You have to practise for many hours in order to be good at something
  2. My father has a strange practice of reading the last page of a book first, before going back to the beginning.

As you can see, in the first sentence, it is something you DO regularly or repeatedly, making it an action, or a verb. Notice how the word is spelt with an ‘s’.

In the second example, it’s something that is usually or regularly done, like a habit, tradition or custom, making it a thing, or a noun. In this case, the word is spelt with a ‘c’.

How do you remember how to tell the practise and practice apart? One easy mnemonic device you can use is to remember that ‘ice’ is a noun, and therefore, ‘practice’ which contains the word ‘ice’ is a noun. Easy right?

Hence, to decide which word to use, you should ask yourself which form of the word you are referring to. Are you referring to a regular action, for example, He practises playing the piano daily? In this instance, you will need the verb form of the word and hence will spell ‘practise’ with an ‘s’. Or are you referring to a habit or something that is done regularly, for instance, He goes for piano practice every afternoon? Here, you are using the noun form of the word and will need to spell it with a ‘c’.

What better way to check your understanding than to have some practice (a noun!)! To see if you have understood the difference between ‘practice’ and ‘practise’, try the following questions:

  1. My teacher told me that I needed to (practice / practise) doing more problem sums in order to improve my mathematics grade.
  2. Now that you have studied all about building a computer, it is time to put the skill to (practice / practise).
  3. The girl (practices / practises) the violin diligently. Her long (practices / practises) usually last about four hours.

Did you manage to choose the correct option? Let’s check your answers now!

  1. My teacher told me that I needed to (practice / practise) doing more problem sums in order to improve my mathematics grade.

Here, the clue is ‘needed to’, which signals that it is an action that I should perform repeatedly in order to improve.

2. Now that you have studied all about building a computer, it is time to put the skill to (practice / practise).

In this sentence, the noun form is required because it refers to the application or use of an idea or belief, in this case, the skill of learning how to build a computer.

3. The girl (practices / practises) the violin diligently. Her long (practices / practises) usually last about four hours.

In this example, the girl does the action of playing the violin. Her long practices will refer to the times that she played the violin, which makes it a noun! Did you notice the word “long” before the word “practice”? Since it is common for an adjective to appear before a noun it is describing, it is an additional clue that we need to use practice, the noun, here.

Before I go, let’s summarise what we have learnt today. ‘Practice’ and ‘practise’ are two different forms of the word and should not be used interchangeably. When the word is spelt with a ’c’, it is to refer to the noun form while the word spelled with an ’s’ shows that it is being used as a verb.

I hope this has helped you to differentiate yet another 2 commonly confused words. What other 2 words do you have difficulty differentiating? Tell us in the comments section so we can help you sort them out!

Interested to learn more about the differences between words like practice and practise? Sign up for our Self-Paced Online Course – Grammar Grandma Bites now!

Grammar Grandma Bites – Lil’ but Mighty’s P5/6 Grammar Self-Paced Online Course!

1. Focuses on more than 10 types of subject-verb agreement questions e.g. Neither/Either, question tag, extra information etc.
2. 14 Overall revision worksheets and 11 topical worksheets included (over 200 practice questions in total)
3. Answers clearly annotated to show important clues and to explain the choice for every question
4. Reference to matching videos included for each question (Allows pupils to revisit the relevant strategy if necessary)

Mr. Joshua

Mr Joshua believes that learning does not happen in a vacuum and strives to bring the real world into the classroom. He enjoys telling stories and works hard to ensure his classroom is a welcoming environment in which all students are comfortable to share their thoughts and ideas – It’s fine to make mistakes as long as we learn from them. Mr Joshua has a passion for English Literature and encourages his students to read widely and write earnestly.

Have something to share? Drop us a comment below!

Leave a Reply

Share

Other related posts

Creative Writing | 3 Easy Steps to Write Your Own Haiku!
Verbs: More than Just Action Words! | Part 3: Changes in Verb Forms
Ketchup on English! – is, are, was and were!
Audience In Visual Text | Visual Text Comprehension
Exploring Points of View (POV) in Composition Writing
Metaphors For? | Part II – Implied Metaphors
10 Beautiful Vivid Verbs to Boost Your Writing and Oral! | Primary School English
Metaphors For? | Part I – An Introduction to Metaphors
3 Family-Friendly Shows on Netflix (Educational & Entertaining)!
Verbs: More than Just Action Words! | Part 2: Tenses
2021 Father’s Day Contest Winners
Verbs: More than Just Action Words! | Part 1: Subject-Verb Agreement
10 Beautiful Words You Can Use in Narrative / Descriptive Writing | Secondary School
Ways To Create A Well-Rounded Character | Creative Writing
Understanding Purpose-Related Questions in Visual Text Comprehension
How Playing Video Games Can Improve Our English (With Practical Tips for Parents!)
Primary School Composition | Onomatopoeia – What’s That?
2021 Mother’s Day Contest Winners + Our Founder’s Journey (Mother’s Day Special)!
Composition Revision: Using Your 5 Senses in Your Writing
How to Create A Dynamic Piece of Writing Using Idioms
Ketchup on English! – Subject-Verb Agreement
Punctuation Marks: Colon Vs. Semicolon
4 steps to Create Suspense
That Simile Though 2 | Using Stronger Similes
Ketchup on English: Vocabulary – Synonyms of Sad
PSLE ORAL | Compiled Prelim 2021 Oral Topics + Questions!
If you’re looking at getting recent PSLE Prelim Oral topics and practice questions, this will be an excellent resource for you!
5 Steps to Convert a Newspaper Article into a Cloze Passage
I would like to share with you 5 steps on how authentic articles can be transformed into cloze passages easily. Read on here!
PSLE English | Oral Conversation: Free SG50 Sample Practice + Model Answers
In this blogpost we will be touching on the oral stimulus-based conversation topic of National Day and SG50! Read on here!
PSLE English | Oral Conversation: Filling your Story with Details Easily + Free Revision Cards
By simply using the 5W1H, your children will be able to lengthen their stories (hence, the conversation!). Read on here!
PSLE English | Situational Writing: Q&A + Formal vs Informal Writing Comparison Chart
To aid you in your situational writing revision, here is a comparison chart that shows the differences between formal and informal writing!
PSLE English Tips | Oral: Stimulus-Based Conversation Checklist
To help my children handle the Stimulus-Based Conversation examination, here are some instructions again about using the checklist!
A Little Encouragement | DIY Motivational Bookmark (Easy to personalise too!)
A bookmark with a quote to motivate is also a chance for them to see the power of words and how words can mean more than what they seem.
Situational Writing: Step-by-Step Guide + Free Revision Card
I believe a walkthrough on the process of doing situational writing is in order. Here are the requirements for content and language!
I Love Reading | 5 Ways to Motivate Reluctant Readers
One of the most important ingredients necessary for a child or anyone learning English is the habit of reading. Get motivated to read now!
PSLE English | Printable Ultimate Grammar & Synthesis Summary
Today, we are sharing two lists of essentials in our Ultimate Grammar and Synthesis Summary Printable. Download them free here!
How Well Do You Know Your Past Participles?
While we are familiar with the past, present and future tenses, the little less known but equally important tense is the past participles.
Primary Composition Writing | Starting Sentences with Introductory Clauses
Today, we'll be revising the use of sentence starters to help you create variety in your sentence structures. Read on here!
The Sentence Train | Lower Primary English
Today, we are going to learn what makes up a sentence. It will come in handy when you do the word order activity in school! Read on here!
PSLE English Tips | Oral: Reading Checklist
This Oral Reading Checklist can be used by children when they practise reading on their own. Download it now!
Language of COVID | 10 Words Added to the Dictionary
Using Personification to Show, Not Tell!
Expressing Character Feelings Too! | Using Show-Not-Tell (Part 2)
How to Choose a Book to Read: 8 Ways
How to Dress Up A Boring Paragraph | Creative Writing
Ketchup on English! – Halloween Special: Prepositions of Time!
Ketchup on English! – Verbs Are Not Just Action Words!
Expressing Character Feelings | Using Show-Not-Tell
Which Picture Should I Use? | Choosing the Best Picture to Use for Composition!
Oral: Reading Passage | Long Vowels – Have You Been Reading Your Vowels Correctly?
Previous
Next

Like what you are reading?

Subscribe now to receive news and tips hot off the press!

Primary School English Tuition| Lil' but Mighty English