This one was suggested by my friend Lyndsey Michaels – thanks, Lyndsey! As she works with tender documents, and both of these are used in formal and business writing, I’m assuming that she’s found that they’ve been mixed up frequently in the raw materials that she’s sent to craft into official documentation.
So, to appraise means to assess the value of somebody or something. You often get a yearly appraisal at work these days, and an antiques expert might appraise a table, for example.
To apprise means to tell or to inform. It’s usually used in a phrase like “She apprised him of the state of the company’s finances”.
Interestingly, there is an archaic word, to apprize or apprise, which does mean specifically to put a price on something. I don’t know whether that meaning has continued in people’s minds, or whether the two would get mixed up anyway.
“He apprised his boss of the auctioneer’s appraisal of the table and suggested that they didn’t bother to sell it after all.”