Advance vs. Advanced

By Maeve Maddox

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A reader has asked for a post on the incorrect use of advanced in the sense of advance.

Both words are used with an assortment of meanings. This post will focus on only two:

advance (adjective): provided or carried out in advance; prior.

advanced (adjective): far on or ahead.

The adjective advance is properly used in the following expressions:

advance booking
advance ticket sales
advance publicity
advance notice
advance warning

The adjective advanced is properly used in the following contexts:

The king, who was advanced in years, busied himself with works of charity. (The king was old.)

By the mid-5th century, it had become more common for advanced thinkers to reject traditional explanations of the world of nature. (The thinking of these people was more like that of thinkers farther on in history than that of 5th century contemporaries.)

George is taking advanced classes in English and history this year. (The classes are more challenging [i.e., farther ahead] than regular classes in those subjects.)

Junior’s vocabulary is more advanced than that of other six-year-olds. (Junior knows more words than most other children his age.)

Here are some typical examples of the way in which advanced is used incorrectly in place of advance:

‘Divergent’ Heats up With Advanced Ticket Sales–headline, Variety.
Correct: “Advance Ticket Sales”

Advanced Ticket Sales for Seth Rogen’s ‘Neighbors’ Soar –headline, Hollywood Reporter.
Correct: “Advance Ticket Sales”

Hardy Considering Advanced Warning Flooding System –KAIT television station.
Correct: “Advance Warning Flooding System.”
Note: in the story that follows the headline, the system is referred to as “an early warning flooding system.”

Clapper had advanced warning of data collection question –Daily Kos
Correct: “advance warning”

Most reservations are then confirmed with a 50% advanced deposit. – A vacation resort.
Correct: “advance deposit”

Give us at least 2 months advanced notice, full refund, less a $40 administrative fee. –A vacation resort.
Correct: “advance notice”

If you’re not sure if the word should be advance or advanced, test the meaning by substituting prior. If prior makes sense, advance is probably the word that fits the context. On the other hand, you can just use prior.

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3 Responses to “Advance vs. Advanced”

  • Roberta B.

    The one I hear frequently in the urban planning world is “Advanced Planning” when it should be “Advance Planning.”

  • John

    @Roberta. “Advanced Planning”. It might be a ground-breaking, unconventional planning. 🙂

  • Tom Scott

    hold on, cap’n. isn’t “advance warning” redundant (and, arguably, “advance notice”)??

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