What is the difference between practice and practise?

Do not confuse “practice” with “practise”. They sound the same and even look similar (except that one is spelled with a “c” and the other with a “s”) but their meanings are different. The word “practice” is a noun, it refers to an act itself, not who is doing it. On the other hand, practise is a verb meaning ‘do something repeatedly to improve one skill’. It is a systematic training by multiple repetitions (rehearsing a behavior or engaging in an activity several times repeatedly) in order to improve or mastering that skill. To put this much simply, practise is a verb (doing word) and practice a noun (thing).

It should be noted that in American English, both the noun and the verb are spelled “practice”. Both forms are however used in the British English whereas the distinction is almost obsolete in the U.S. As a matter of fact, in other English speaking countries (Australia, Canada, UK, Ireland, and South Africa), “practice” is the noun and “practise” the verb. It is therefore important to make sure that use the right version for the right audience.Here are some examples below using the word “practice” (a noun) and “practise” (a verb):

Examples using the word “practice” (noun)
If you want to speak French well, you need to practice.
I’m afraid I’m rather out of practice.
It is their practice to give annual raises.
A hard theory to put into practice.
I can’t see how your plan is going to work in practice.
The practice of the law.
It is not the local practice to wear shorts to dinner.
Practice makes perfect.
It seemed like a good idea before we started, but in practice it was a disaster.
Officially, Mary’s in charge, but in practice Susan runs the office.
This is a cruel practice which should be banned immediately.
I need to get some more practice before I take my driving test.
Are you coming to football practice this evening?
My singing practice has been a little lax, lately.
It is the usual practice of employees there to wear neckties only when meeting with customers.
It is good practice to check each door and window before leaving.
She refused to play the piano, because she was out of practice.
She ran a thriving medical practice.
He will need lots of practice with those lines before he performs them.
The doctor wanted his daughter to take over his practice when he retired.
She plans to set up practice in her hometown.

Examples using the word “practise” (verb)
The new government has promised all citizens the right to practise their religion.
Why don’t you practise what you preach?
I’m quite good at tennis but I need to practise my serve.
She practises the violin every day.
She practised medicine for twenty years before she became a writer.
I practise the piano.
I need to practise my English.
You should practise more.
I need to start practising my singing every day.
They are practising for the Olympic games.
John is practising golf.
A practising doctor.
She is a confident and practised speaker who always impresses her audience.

notebook-with-pencilIf you are having difficulty of remembering the difference between “practise” and “practice” then you can try using anyone one of the three methods given below. You should be able to use one as an easy way of remembering the difference between them:

i. Practice with a C is a noun, and practise with an S is a verb.

ii. Practice is a noun. It is thing because it has the word ice in it which is a cold, wet and slippery thing and practise is a verb – a doing word. It is not a noun becauseise is not a thing.

iii. Practice is a noun. It as the word ice in it, which is a noun. Practise is a verb. It has the word is in it, which is a verb.

So remember in the United Kingdom, as well as, in other English speaking countries “practice” is the noun and “practise” the verb; but in the U.S. the spelling “practice” is mostly used for both the noun and the verb.