difference between suggestion and advice

The Difference Between Suggestion and Advice

When it comes to receiving help or guidance from others, the terms “suggestion” and “advice” are often used interchangeably. However, there is a distinct difference between the two, and understanding this difference can help you navigate situations where you are seeking input from others.

Definition of Suggestion

A suggestion is a proposal or idea put forward for consideration, without any expectation that it will be accepted or followed. It is an expression of a possible course of action or solution to a problem, based on the person’s own experiences or knowledge.

For example, if someone suggests that you try a new restaurant, they are simply offering a possible option for you to consider. Whether or not you actually go to the restaurant is entirely up to you.

Definition of Advice

Advice, on the other hand, is a formal recommendation or guidance given with the intention of helping the person make a decision. It is based on the advisor’s expertise or experience and is intended to be followed by the person seeking guidance.

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For instance, if you seek advice from a financial advisor on how to manage your money, they will provide you with specific recommendations tailored to your financial situation. You are expected to take their advice into account and make decisions accordingly.

The Main Difference

The key difference between suggestion and advice lies in how the information is presented and received. A suggestion is a casual idea that is not expected to be followed, while advice is a more formal and structured recommendation intended to be taken into account.

When giving suggestions, people do not assume responsibility for the outcome and do not expect the person to follow it. In contrast, advice carries more weight and often comes from professionals in certain fields.


In summary, understanding the difference between suggestion and advice can help you navigate situations where you are seeking input from others. Knowing whether someone is simply offering an idea or providing formal recommendations can help you make informed decisions and ensure that you receive the appropriate guidance. So, the next time someone offers you input, take a moment to determine whether it’s a suggestion or advice.

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Table difference between suggestion and advice

Suggestion Advice
Definition A proposal or idea put forward for consideration or action. Guidance or recommendations offered with the aim of resolving a problem or situation.
Origins Derived from the Latin word “suggerere”, meaning to carry under or to offer. Derived from the Old French word “avise”, meaning to consider.
Authoritative May or may not be given with authority. Usually given by someone with authority or experience in the matter.
Actionable May or may not result in a specific action. Intended to result in a specific action or outcome.
Optional May or may not be followed. Usually more strongly urged to be followed.
Examples “I suggest we try a different approach.” “My advice to you would be to get a second opinion.”