Advice or advices – singular or plural?

by Jakub Marian

Tip: See my list of the Most Common Mistakes in English. It will teach you how to avoid mis­takes with com­mas, pre­pos­i­tions, ir­reg­u­lar verbs, and much more (PDF Version).

Slightly surprisingly, “advice” is an uncountable (mass) noun in English (like “water” or “sand”), and as such it has no plural form:

His advice was very helpful. (correct)
His advices were very helpful. (wrong)

Thus, we speak about the amount of advice, not the “number of advices”:

I didn’t receive much advice. (correct)
I didn’t receive many advices. (wrong)

Since it is uncountable, we cannot say “an advice”. We would usually say just “advice” (without an article), or, if it is necessary to emphasize that we think about it as about one piece of information, we use “piece of advice”:

This was good advice. (correct)
This was a good piece of advice. (correct)
This was a good advice. (wrong)

This article was based on my guide to the most common mistakes in English, which explains many similar topics. Why don’t you check it out?

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