Review and Revise

Review and revise often get us confused because of its almost similar definition. For ESL learners, learning new English words is a challenging task, especially when words almost have the same meaning. The nature of the English language is really interesting because some words can sound and mean the same, however, they are not if we learn them deeper. The grammatical use of review and revise is easy provided that these two words are verbs. Both are action words that mean ‘look again at something you have studied to prepare for a test or an exam’. We use the word revise in Standard British English (SBE) whereas review in General American English (GAE).

For example:

I think I’ll fail in the spelling test because I forgot to revise all the rules.
I think I’ll fail in the spelling test because I forgot to review all the rules.

But despite their similarities, revise and review also have other meanings.



The verb review means to go over the material again to refresh your memory of it and practice. This means that you only read and carefully look at something again and again. Finding out the difference between the words ‘review‘ and ‘revise’ is tricky. But when you check the action involved, finding their meaning can be easy.

For example:

The exam is going to be very difficult. I need to review the chapter tonight.
I need to review her answer to make sure it’s correct.
Moreover, the word ‘review’ could also mean to write a critical evaluation or report of a book, film, etc.

For example:

I have reviewed the movie Pride and Prejudice last night to understand the role of the main character.
My article has just been reviewed by our school publication.


The verb ‘review’ and ‘revise’ are synonyms. However, the verb revise means to edit, correct, or change a piece of writing. Unlike the verb ‘review,’ ‘revise’ includes changing or altering something to make it better.

For example:

The newspaper editor revised the article three times to avoid conflict with the politicians.
You need to revise the book because it was erroneous.
Apart from writing, you can also use the word ‘revise’ to change your opinion, decision, or plan because you received newer and better information.

Because of the pandemic, teachers revised their teaching methods.
We need to revise our travel plans because there is a typhoon coming next week.

Review and Revise: A brief comparison

At QQEnglish, many students tend to use the words “review” and “revise” interchangeably, which can lead to confusion among ESL learners who might think these words can be used in the same context. To clarify the difference between these words:

  • “Review” as a verb means to survey or look broadly over something.
  • “Revise” as a verb means to change, alter, and amend, especially in the context of written material.

This summary provides a clear distinction between these two words.

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