Difference: “prophecy” and “prophesy”

The first word is a noun and the second is a verb. There are other pairs like this in English: advice (n), advise (v); practice (n), practise (v); device (n), devise (v), etc. The “o” in “prophecy” is like the “o” in “cot”, “hot” and “lot”, and the following “ph” is like the “f” in “fish”, “feel” and “fast”. The “e” in the second syllable and the final “y” are like the “i” in “bit”, “hit” and “sit”. In the case of the verb, the final syllable is pronounced differently. The “y” sounds like “y” in “my” and “by”. In both cases, the main stress is on the first syllable.

Examples: When an individual prophesises, he is predicting what is likely to happen in the future. *Some of the prophecies she made over twenty years ago have come true. *They have prophesised that the ruling party will lose the elections.

 Source: ‘Know Your English’ ( The Hindu) – May 14, 2007. 



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