When it comes to success in IELTS exam, English improvement for IELTS is an essential part of overall success. Aspiring students from Bengaluru, Chennai and Coimbatore have their best choice in Sahasriya in English improvement for IELTS through Sahasriya’s IELTS Basic Course as well as IELTS Advanced Course . Sahasriya’s experience of ensuring over 2500 students succeed in IELTS has been constantly through English improvement for IELTS. With decades of man-years in coaching for IELTS, Sahasriya is the destination for high rate success in IELTS. In Bengaluru or Chennai-Velachery and Porur or Coimbatore, everyday’s note on English improvement for IELTS is a standing example of students’ benefitting everyday. Today, it is about ‘Council‘ and ‘Counsel‘.

There are many words that sound the same or nearly the same, but have different meanings. In English, these words are called homophones.

Counsel, council, and consul are three often misused near homophones. To make matters worse, their contexts are often related.

For instance, the following example is grammatically correct, albeit somewhat confusing sentence.

  • The consul went to the council for counsel.

The three words are all used correctly. Of course, even if this visit is exactly the event you are trying to describe, you would want to rewrite that sentence. It is confusing to the point of distraction.

If you aren’t sure whether you mean to use council or counsel, or even consul, continue reading for an exploration of these words.

When to Use Council

English improvement for IELTS council

What does council mean? Council is a noun. A council is a group of people appointed to make decisions or give advice.

Council is never a verb. Thus, a council might give counsel, but a council would never give council. See the examples below.

  • We have appointed a council to oversee important matters.
  • The council hereby denies your request for additional funding.

When to Use Counsel

English improvement for IELTS counsel

What does counsel mean? Counsel can be a noun or a verb.

As a verbcounsel means to give advice or guidance.

As a nouncounsel is a synonym of advice and guidance, especially that given formally from a lawyer, psychologist, etc. Thus, when you counsel someone, you are giving them counsel. The sentences below are examples of both uses.

  • Seek counsel from those who are wiser than you.
  • I counsel you to abandon this horseplay immediately.
  • The counsel of elders is valuable; you would do well to heed it.

When to Use Consul

English improvement for IELTS consul

What does consul mean? A third noun, consul, is a near homophone of council and counsel. A consul is a diplomatic representative living in a foreign cityConsul is sometimes a synonym for ambassador.

For example,

  • The consul got in his car and drove to the embassy.

Trick to Remember the Difference

council versus counsel

Here is a helpful trick to remember counsel vs. council

If the word you are using is a verb, use counselCouncil and consul are never verbs.

The picture is less clear if the word is a noun. If the noun refers to a single person, living in another place, choose consul. For a group of people, living anywhere, choose council instead. If you’re not referring to any people at all, use counsel as a synonym for advice or guidance.

Consul refers to a single person. Since consul and singular each contain a U, this usage should be easy to remember.


Is it council or counsel? Councilconsul and counsel are all nouns, but only counsel can also be used as a verb.

  • A council is a group of people appointed to make decisions.
  • A consul is an ambassador or representative in a foreign land.
  • Counsel is another word for advice.

As a verb, counsel also means to give advice.

Since consul and singular are both spelled with a U, you can remember that a consul is a single person, whereas a council is a group of people.

If you are still confused, don’t hesitate to check this article as often as you need for a quick refresher.

This daily series is an effort by Sahasriya in providing the best English improvement for IELTS. These vital tips ensures a student’s aspiration with Sahasriya is the most effective which is what hundreds of students benefit from everyday.

About Sindhu Sriram

Sindhu SriramAn education enthusiast and a self-made entrepreneur in devising unique and simple ways to educate complex elements. An English language expert and a successful role-model for many aspiring trainers. Not only is she the brainchild to have founded Sahasriya, she is a top-notch and sought after English language professional

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