Today I’m answering a student who asked about the difference between device (spelled with a C) and devise (spelled with an S).
English has lots of words like this – they’re different by just one letter, or just one small sound. You can find a great collection of these, with explanations and examples, inside my e-book, 600+ Confusing English Words Explained.
Device & Devise: Pronunciation
First let’s note and practice the difference in pronunciation between device which has a SSS sound and devise which has a ZZZ sound. Repeat after me:
device – devise
Device is a noun and it means a tool or machine used for a specific task. Nowadays we usually refer to electronic devices, like laptops and cell phones. Scientists use various devices in their laboratories, in order to do experiments, measure things, etc. Device is a very general word for objects that are used for particular purposes.
Devise is a verb meaning to plan, to create/develop something in your mind. For example, the teacher devised a new strategy for teaching math to kids.
Devise can sometimes have a bit of a negative connotation; it’s often used for creating plans for bad things. A dishonest businessman might devise a plan to cheat on his taxes, or a manipulative person could devise a way to find out other people’s secrets.
Got it? A device is a tool/machine used for a specific task, and to devise means to plan, often used for planning something sneaky or bad.
I’d love to help you learn even more confusing words, so that you can use them correctly without mixing them up and saying the wrong thing.
600+ Confusing English Words Explained will teach you these words clearly, so that you can speak and write English more confidently.
Thanks for joining me today – bye for now!