Conscience Vs. Conscious: Know the Difference

One of the classic confusion of all time is raised by the words conscience and conscious. Yes, that’s right, it’s a classic confusion! This is because they involve misunderstandings in terms of meaning, spelling, and pronunciation. If you’re like most of us, thinking very hard every time you spell conscience or conscious, this article is for you.

What Is Conscience?

Conscience, pronounced as [kon-shuhns], is a noun that refers to someone’s moral sense of right and wrong. It is a part of a person’s personality that guides whether or not to act on your desires.

This is the moral foundation that helps drive your behavior in a socially acceptable and humanitarian way.

  • His guilty conscience made him tell the truth in front of everybody.
  • My conscience doesn’t allow me to leave her in this tough time.

What Is Conscious?

Conscious, pronounced as [kon-shuhs], is an adjective that refers to your sense of awareness about yourself or your surrounding. It means that you’re fully awake and attentive to something in your environment. Experts believe that you are conscious of something if you can explain it in words.

  • It was a conscious decision for the well-being of the company.
  • I was not conscious of my surrounding after the sedative.
Read More scrabble blocks placed on a white background.
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Conscience Vs. Conscious — Which One to Use?

People confuse the two words “conscience” and “conscious” because they sound similar. However, the terms mean very different things in terms of psychology.

Your conscience guides your moral behavior to be fair and socially acceptable in this world. On the other hand, your conscious helps you be mindful of your role and position in the world. The following examples will clarify the confusion.

When referring to the recognition of right and wrong, use “conscience.”

  • Your conscience should prevent you from cheating on the test.

When you’re aware of what’s happening around you, use “conscious.”

  • You will not be conscious during the operation.

How Do You Spell Conscience?

To ensure you spell conscience right, link the word “conscience” with “science.” Researchers continuously try to prove a hypothesis right or wrong. If you keep this analogy in mind, you will know which word to use in the context.

You could also imagine the word conscience as a combination of con- and science to remember how to spell it. Splitting and pronouncing the word that way can help you get the spelling right. The con prefix is derived from a word that means “with.” So remember that “conscience” is spelled with the word “science” in it.

Moreover, the ending “-ence” in “conscience” signifies that this word is a noun. Other noun words ending in “-ence” include difference, sentence, and science.

Wrapping Up

It’s pretty normal to confuse “conscience” and “conscious,” especially when you hear them in speech. However, you should always try to analyze the context clues and give attention to the spelling to help you differentiate between the two terms.

The two words look and sound similar, but they mean entirely different things. This article discusses their differences and usage to help you tell them apart when you come across them in writing.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

How to Improve Your Spelling As an Adult

Both native speakers and language learners find English spelling tough to master. Because English is a language that absorbs new…

June 13, 2022

How to Spell Yesterday — a Quick Spelling Guide

There are times when English can seem confusing. Many of the words in English are freely borrowed from other languages.…

June 13, 2022

Can’t Spell Review? Read This Right Away!

There are times when English spelling can appear confusing. English borrows many of its words from other languages. This Germanic…

June 13, 2022

How to Spell None — a Quick Spelling Guide

Sometimes, English spelling can seem perplexing. Many of the words in English originated in other languages. Germanic language English consists…

June 13, 2022

Having Some Issues? Correct Spelling of Issue!

English may seem confusing at times. Many of the words in English were freely borrowed from other languages. Languages such…

June 13, 2022

The Correct Way of Spelling Decide!

English spelling can sometimes seem confusing. English borrows many of its words from other languages. English, a Germanic language, consists…

June 13, 2022