I was trying to make a semantic difference like between Russian words советник (one who occupies the position where he gives advices) and советчик (someone who made an advice) and used advisor for the first and adviser for the second. Yet my dictionary says there is no semantic difference between the two.

I wonder whether indeed there is no semantic difference and if so, what words to choose to indicate the difference (like between asker and questioner).

PS. This is not about -ter- vs -tor- and it seems the -ter- vs -tor question had been answered wrongly so I made a new answer to that question.

  • possible duplicate of When is the suffix -tor and -ter used? There's no semantic different - they're just alternative ways of spelling the same word. But note that the -or form is becoming increasingly common (particularly in the US). Jul 29, 2015 at 16:12

1 Answer 1


To answer your question, there is no semantic difference, simply a regional spelling difference. However, your second definition is uncommon, at least in American English. One may have a position where their job is giving advice (such as a student adviser or an adviser to the President), or one might simply give advice. It is literally correct to refer to the second case as an adviser, but it sounds wrong.

Some more tips: advice is an uncountable noun, so someone would "give advice" or possibly "give some advice", but never "give advices". If you need a singular form, "piece of advice" is used, but "pieces of advice" sounds wrong. And advice is "given" or "provided", or possibly "written", but not "made".

  • So how to differentiate the semantics if I want?
    – Anixx
    Jul 30, 2015 at 3:21
  • 1
    Whenever you would use советник, you can use "adviser" or "advisor", there is no difference except that people in some English speaking regions favor one spelling over the other. советчик does not really have a direct English cognate. You could say, "My brother often gives advice" or "my brother gives me advice". You could even say "My brother is my adviser/advisor, implying that he holds that position for you even though it is not an official position, but "my brother is an adviser/advisor" in English implies that he works in a position where he gives advice.
    – TBridges42
    Jul 30, 2015 at 12:54
  • Can you say "my wife often listens to various advisers" meaning random people who gives the advice rather than her official subordinates who are tasked to give her advice?
    – Anixx
    Jul 30, 2015 at 13:17
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    You could, and people would probably understand what you meant, but it would not be a natural construction. I would say "my wife often listens to the advice of strangers", or "of friends", or "of random people".
    – TBridges42
    Jul 30, 2015 at 13:31

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