The words council and counsel are homonyms, which sound alike, but their meanings and spellings differ. ‘Council‘ is used for a group of people who are assembled for a specific purpose, i.e. to discuss something or arrive at a decision. On the other hand, ‘to counsel‘ means to provide guidance to a person. Now, let’s understand these two with the help of examples:
- The primary goal of the council is to counsel the students.
- Joseph went to the council, to talk about the next counselling session.
- Amit joined the council to counsel the Chief Minister.
In the given example, you might have noticed that the word ‘council’ is used to talk about a committee or team, which gives ‘counsel’, i.e. provides direction, or suggestion, with respect to a decision, matter or course of action.
Content: Council Vs Counsel
|Basis for Comparison||Council||Counsel|
|Meaning||A council is a body of people, convened or elected by the members for a definite purpose.||The word 'counsel' is just another word for advice, suggestion or guidance provided.|
|Part of speech||Noun||Verb and Noun|
|Example||We will discuss the matter in the council meeting.||Riya was counselled by his mentor to give her best in the exam.|
|The college management formed a students rights council.||Robin started taking counseling sessions for depression.|
Definition of Council
The word ‘council’ is used to refer a body of individuals who are so elected or brought together to represent a certain group of people for discussion, consideration, advice, recommend or decide something on a particular matter.
The term council can also be used to indicate the board of directors of a company or elected influential ministers which run the organization/government and makes laws.
The council refers to an assembly of people who plays an administrative, legislative or advisory role. Council members are termed as councillors.
- The members of the city council are going on a trip.
- Robin has been elected to the National student’s council.
- The women council voted for free bus and cab services to college/school going girls.
Definition of Counsel
As a verb the word ‘counsel’ implies advice result, often given by an expert to a person, to face or resolve, personal, social or professional issues. The specialist who takes the counselling sessions is called as a counsellor, whereas the person who is being counselled is considered as the client.
- I think you need an expert counsel; you must talk to your coach.
- As my teachers have counselled me, now I will take studies seriously.
On the other hand, as a noun, in (United Kingdom) legal context, it is used when various lawyers participate in a case.
In the United States, it refers to the lawyer appointed to give advice and represents an entity or individual in the court of law. It may also mean a group of lawyers who represent another person in the court of law, i.e. defence counsel or prosecuting counsel.
Further, when a body of individuals whose profession is to provide legal services to an organization is also known as counsel.
- Kate works as a legal counsel for XYZ Ltd.
Key Differences Between Council and Counsel
The points given below are noteworthy so far as the difference between council and counsel is concerned:
- ‘Council’ refers to a group of people who are chosen to represent a community, city, society, etc. They are the ones who discuss, decide and give suggestions on various matters. On the other hand, the word ‘counsel’ is used to give advice to someone, or suggest/recommend something to someone, especially on a personal problem.
- The word ‘council’ is a collective noun, whereas ‘counsel’ can be used as a verb or as a noun in sentences.
- The council supports the decision made by the captain.
- The city council has approved the construction of drains.
- The council will examine the results of the elections.
- Paul is foolish to reject his parent’s counsel.
- I miss the way she counselled me whenever I face any problem.
- It was their lawyer who counselled regarding not to settle easily.
How to remember the difference
To remember the difference between these two terms, you must understand their meanings, i.e. while the council means the advisory or administrative body of any organization or group which is formed to serve a definite purpose. On the other hand, counsel means guidance, given by an expert on a certain matter to resolve issues.