Difference Between Advice and Suggestion (With Table)

Advice and suggestion, are two different things. Because of their similarity, people often get confused between the two, especially during writing. Therefore, it becomes very important to know the difference. 

Further, we shall be clearing our confusion about advice and suggestion with some interesting examples. So, let us kick start our learning.

Advice vs Suggestion

The main difference between advice and suggestion is that the advice is all about giving instruction and recommendation by an experienced person to an inexperienced person. On the other hand, the suggestion is all about sharing ideas on day to day activities. 

Advice vs Suggestion

The advice is assumed to be formal. It means that the advice is authoritative, sometimes it is manipulative and needs to be followed strictly. For instance, when you visit a doctor, she advises you to take medicine which you will have to stick.

The suggestion is assumed to be informal. This often means sharing ideas or recommending new changes in a friendly way, which you are not bound to act upon. For instance, when your friend says you should buy a new cycle. He is doing the work of suggestion, and you might accept this or ignore this, it is completely up to you.

Comparison Table Between Advice and Suggestion

Parameter of ComparisonAdvice Suggestion
CapabilityThe person who is giving the advice must be an experienced one. She must have knowledge and experience in the related field. The person who is suggesting need not be an experienced one. He can be your friend or neighbour or even someone whom you do not like.
FormalityAdvice is formal. It means that this needs to be taken seriously. Otherwise, it can lead to danger. A suggestion is informal. It means that This need not be taken seriously. It is completely on you whether you take it or ignore it.
Example1. The math teacher said that I needed to work hard for the examination.”
2. Doctor said that John has to take medication two times a day.” 
3. Don’t pollute the environment.
4. What advice would you give to your younger self.
1. Seema said to me that we should go for coffee today.
2. Let us go out for dinner.
3. Let us play together.
4. Let us wait for John
AssociationAdvice is associated with the words like: have to, must, must-have, do not etc.A suggestion is associated with the words like should, can, could, etc.
MeaningThe other side for advice is a recommendation, a manipulation, an instruction,  etc.The meaning of suggestion is sharing ideas, sharing opinions, offering something etc.
OccupationSome people converted it into an occupation. The businessmen work with these people to get advice on funds or investment. In every business, there is at least one advisor, who is highly qualified and experienced.It is not an occupation. A suggestion is a name given to idea-sharing.

What is Advice?

Any advice is a recommendation given to a person often when asked. It is given by a skilful or intellectual person to someone who does not have much skill. Advice is being given on current problems. 

Advice is constituted with command, concern, obligation, and order. And it must be taken seriously. Nowadays, people are even getting commercialized with advising by opening offices. There is a demand for skilful advisors in the business world. 

The word advice was originated in the nineteenth century. Advice, when followed, prove to be helpful or not helpful, damaging or non-damaging. It is neither 100% per cent right nor 100% per cent wrong. Some people get offended by unrequested advice. That is why people put it in the theory that goes like “Do not either take advice or give advice.”

In modern society, we use sentences like; Do not cut the trees or Do not drink and drive. If we unfollow this advice, we can get into a lot of trouble.

What is Suggestion?

The suggestion is about sharing ideas and putting plans or proposals forward for consideration without any command and manipulation. It is being given in a friendly manner, but sometimes people get annoyed. 

In the nineteenth century, psychology writers such as William James came up with the word “suggestion” to describe an idea that first came to one mind and suggested another. It is like sharing ideas on how one should behave, talk, appear, act or live indirectly. 

Accepting a suggestion is the choice of a listener whether she wants to act upon it or not. For instance, your wife suggested that you change your mobile phone. But you are not bounded to change it. Another example is when your colleague suggests you change your suit. Again it is completely up to you whether you accept it or deny it.

Main Differences Between Advice and Suggestion

  1. Advice is given to the person when asked or when it is necessary. On the other hand, a suggestion is an act of sharing ideas or opinions.
  2. The person who gives advice is highly qualified and known for his work. On the other hand, the person who suggests might be on the same level or lower than you.
  3. Sometimes people pay for getting good advice or keep an advisor for giving the right advice. On the other hand, no one pays anyone for suggestions, and sometimes people get fed up with it.
  4. Advice is assumed to be formal because the one who is giving advice acquired a high position in his field. On the other hand, suggestions are casual and informal concerning the circumstances.
  5. Nobody takes any advice from unskillful people. On the other hand, unskillful people can suggest you.


On the one hand, there are many differences between advice and suggestion. While on the other, both act as common nouns. People seem to get confused between these two, and even today, some people think that both the words are the same, especially those whose second language is English. 

To ignore the confusion. It is necessary to know the meaning of each word and its difference. Advice and Suggestions are two different parts of English. Advice is being taken seriously, while suggestions depend on the listener mood.