These two words are pronounced the same, but do they have the same meaning? Can we use them interchangeably?

"Council" vs. "Counsel" in English

What Is Their Main Difference?

'Council' and 'counsel' both refer to consulting someone or a specific group of people. 'Council' is official and it refers to a committee making decisions for towns, cities, etc. but, 'counsel' refers to the piece of advice someone gives us.

Differences

'Council' and 'counsel' both refer to advice, guidance, and consulting someone. However, we use 'council' to refer to an official committee that makes decisions for a town, a city, etc. whereas, 'counsel' refers to someone's piece of advice. Look below:

I respect what you're saying, but did I ask for your counsel?

Here, 'counsel 'is a verb.

Living in a forest faraway frees you of all the conflicts with the city council.

Similarities

Both of them refer to helping a particular person or group of people, guiding them through the difficult stages in life. Look at the following examples:

The students council have decided to start a Korean language learning program for those interested.

I was seeking your counsel.

Are They Interchangeable?

Although both of these words show guiding someone, they cannot be used interchangeably because one refers to a committee whereas, the other refers to the piece of advice itself. Compare:

✓ I searched everywhere for you because I needed your counsel.

X I searched everywhere for you because I needed your council.

As you can see, the second one does not make any sense.

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