Council vs Counsel

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What’s the difference between them?

Council

Meaning:

A council is an assembly or meeting of people, usually for the purpose of discussing or deciding on some course of action.

Examples:

1. The city council met this morning to discuss the budget.

2. The student council is organizing a charity drive this weekend.

3. My parents have recently been appointed to the school council.

Counsel

Meaning:

professional advice or recommendation, especially in legal or financial matters.

Examples:

1. My parents sought counsel from a marriage therapist to help them resolve their issues.

2. The attorney provided wise counsel to the defendant in order to help her avoid a lengthy prison sentence.

3. The pastor offered spiritual counsel to the grieving family in order to help them find comfort.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Council

1. Assembly

2. Legislature

3. Legislative Body

4. Board

5. Advisory Group

1. Anarchy

2. Disorganization

3. Individualism

4. Disobedience

5. Noncompliance

Counsel

1. Advise

2. Consult

3. Guide

4. Recommend

5. Propound Advice

1. Disregard

2. Misguide

3. Rebuke

4. Flout

5. Disobey

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Council", "Counsel".

1. Remember that council is the noun and counsel is the verb.

2. Counsel is a verb, so think of it as 'counseling' someone.

3. Think of a council as a group of people coming together to form a 'circle' of discussion.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word be used?

The word ‘council’ is typically used as a noun to refer to a group of people, usually elected representatives, gathered together to make decisions, discuss issues, or provide advice. An example of this would be a town council or a student council.

When is the appropriate context for using the second word?

The word ‘counsel’ is typically used as a verb or a noun. As a verb, it means to give advice or guidance. As a noun, it refers to advice or guidance, typically from someone with authority or expertise. For example, a lawyer might provide legal counsel to a client.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words have different pronunciations. The word ‘council’ is pronounced with a short ‘ou’ sound (like the word ‘couch’), whereas the word ‘counsel’ is pronounced with a long ‘ou’ sound (like the word ‘school’).

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One common mistake people make when using these words is confusing the two. Although both words refer to advice or guidance, the word ‘council’ typically refers to the group of people giving the advice, while the word ‘counsel’ typically refers to the advice or guidance itself. Additionally, some people may incorrectly pronounce one of the words.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. The mayor addressed the __________ of the city before making his decision.

2. They sought __________ from a lawyer before proceeding further.

3. She was elected to the __________ of the student union.

4. The company has an obligation to provide __________ to its employees.

5. He was appointed to the __________ of the university board.

6. The government released a __________ to the public outlining their new policy.

1. The mayor addressed the Council of the city before making his decision.

Explanation: Council is a noun that refers to a group of people with administrative or political power.

2. They sought Counsel from a lawyer before proceeding further.

Explanation: Counsel is a noun that refers to advice or advice given by a professional.

3. She was elected to the Council of the student union.

Explanation: Council is a noun that refers to a group of people with administrative or political power.

4. The company has an obligation to provide Counsel to its employees.

Explanation: Counsel is a noun that refers to advice or advice given by a professional.

5. He was appointed to the Council of the university board.

Explanation: Council is a noun that refers to a group of people with administrative or political power.

6. The government released a Counsel to the public outlining their new policy.

Explanation: Counsel is a noun that refers to advice or advice given by a professional.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.