The words \u201cvice\u201d and \u201cvise\u201d sound the same, which makes it easy to mix them up in writing. But these terms have different meanings. As such, this post will explain how to use them correctly in American English.\n\nVice (A Bad Habit or Illegal Activity)\n\u201cVice\u201d, spelled with a \u201cc,\u201d is typically a noun that refers to a bad habit, moral fault, or certain illegal activities, particularly those involving drugs or sex:\nChocolate is my only vice.\nHis worst vice was his greed.\nThe mayor wanted to wipe out vice in the city.\nIn addition, we can use \u201cvice\u201d as a prefix to show that someone is second in command or deputy leader of a group or team. For instance:\nHe hoped to be elected vice president.\nThey have made me vice-captain of the baseball team.\nThese senses of \u201cvice\u201d have different origins, but both are spelled with a \u201cc.\u201d\n\nVise (A Tool for Gripping)\n\u201cVise\u201d with an \u201cs,\u201d meanwhile, is a noun that refers to a tool used to hold something in place so you can work on it. For example, we could say:\nHe put the frame in the vise so he could sand it.\nHe tightened the vise and began sanding.\nHis grip was as tight as a vise.\nThis is the only meaning of the \u201cs\u201d spelling of this word.\n\nVice in British English\nBritish English, and other English-speaking countries outside of the US, make things a bit simpler by using the spelling \u201cvice\u201d in all situations.\nThis includes bad habits, the prefix sense of \u201cdeputy,\u201d and the tool for gripping. The \u201cs\u201d spelling, though, is never used.\nIf you are writing for a British or Australian audience, keep this in mind!\n\nSummary: Vice or Vise?\nIn American English, there are two different spellings to remember:\n\n\n \tVice is typically a noun that refers to a bad habit or certain illegal activities. It can also be a prefix meaning "second in command."\n \tVise is always a noun and refers to a tool for holding an object in place.\n\nThe only time you will need to use the \u201cs\u201d spelling, then, is to write about the gripping tool. This means you can use the \u201cc\u201d spelling in all other situations. And outside the US, all senses of \u201cvice\u201d are spelled with a \u201cc.\u201d\nHopefully, this has answered your spelling queries! For more help with your writing, though, give our proofreading services a try for free today.