Alternate vs. Alternative

Main Difference

The main difference between Alternate and Alternative is that the word Alternate is a thing or a person serving in place of another, whereas an Alternative is such a second option that does not replace the first.

Alternate vs. Alternative — Is There a Difference?
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Difference Between Alternate and Alternative

Alternate vs. Alternative

An alternate is a thing, place, or person serving in place of another, whereas an alternative is a second or another option that does not replace the first.

Alternate vs. Alternative

The word ‘alternate’ originated from a Latin word ‘alternus’ meaning to take turns; on the other hand, the word ‘alternate’ originated from the same word.

Alternate vs. Alternative

The word ‘alternate’ comes directly from Latin; on the flip side, the word ‘alternative’ comes through French translating into the meaning ‘different.’

Alternate vs. Alternative

The pronunciation of alternate is /ɔːltəneɪt/ or /ɒltəneɪt/; on the contrary, the pronunciation of alternative is /ɔːlˈtəːnətɪv/ or /ɒlˈtəːnətɪv/.

Alternate vs. Alternative

The total number of letters in alternate is nine; on the converse, the letters that alternative contains are eleven.

Alternate vs. Alternative

The word alternate is an adjective, a noun, and a verb; conversely, the word alternative is an adjective as well as a noun.

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Alternate vs. Alternative

As an adjective alternate means “(of days) every other, (of time) every second or “a thing followed by the other in a regular pattern.” Contrarily as an adjective, it means “the possibility or availability of another choice.”

Alternate vs. Alternative

As a noun, alternate means “two or many possibilities that are available”; inversely, alternative refers to a person acting as a deputy or substitute as a noun.

Alternateadjective

Being or succeeding by turns; one following the other in succession of time or place; by turns first one and then the other; hence, reciprocal.

Alternativeadjective

Relating to a choice between two or more possibilities.

an alternative proposition

Alternateadjective

(mathematics) Designating the members in a series, which regularly intervene between the members of another series, as the odd or even numbers of the numerals; every other; every second.

the alternate members 1, 3, 5, 7, etc.

Alternativeadjective

Not traditional, outside the mainstream, underground.

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Alternateadjective

(US) Other; alternative.

Hyperlinked text is displayed in alternate color in a Web browser.

Alternativeadjective

Other; different from something else.

Alternateadjective

(botany) Distributed, as leaves, singly at different heights of the stem, and at equal intervals as respects angular divergence.

Alternativeadjective

Alternate, reciprocal.

Alternatenoun

That which alternates with something else; vicissitude.

Alternativenoun

A situation which allows a mutually exclusive choice between two or more possibilities; a choice between two or more possibilities.

Alternatenoun

(US) A substitute; an alternative; one designated to take the place of another, if necessary, in performing some duty.

Alternativenoun

One of several mutually exclusive things which can be chosen.

Alternatenoun

(mathematics) A proportion derived from another proportion by interchanging the means.

Alternativenoun

The remaining option; something available after other possibilities have been exhausted.

Alternatenoun

(US) A replacement of equal or greater value or function.

Alternativenoun

one of a number of things from which only one can be chosen;

what option did I have?there no other alternativemy only choice is to refuse

Alternatenoun

(heraldry) Figures or tinctures that succeed each other by turns.

Alternativeadjective

allowing a choice;

an alternative plan

Alternateverb

(transitive) To perform by turns, or in succession; to cause to succeed by turns; to interchange regularly.

Alternativeadjective

necessitating a choice between mutually exclusive possibilities;

`either' and `or' in `either this or that'

Alternateverb

(intransitive) To happen, succeed, or act by turns; to follow reciprocally in place or time; followed by with.

The flood and ebb tides alternate with each other.

Alternativeadjective

pertaining to unconventional choices;

an alternative life style

Alternateverb

(intransitive) To vary by turns.

The land alternates between rocky hills and sandy plains.

Alternateverb

To perform an alternation (removal of alternate vertices) on (a polytope or tessellation); to remove vertices (from a face or edge) as part of an alternation.

Alternatenoun

someone who takes the place of another person

Alternateverb

go back and forth; swing back and forth between two states or conditions

Alternateverb

exchange people temporarily to fulfill certain jobs and functions

Alternateverb

be an understudy or alternate for a role

Alternateverb

reverse (a direction, attitude, or course of action)

Alternateverb

do something in turns;

We take turns on the night shift

Alternateadjective

every second one of a series;

the cleaning lady comes on alternate Wednesdaysjam every other day

Alternateadjective

allowing a choice;

an alternative plan

Alternateadjective

occurring by turns; first one and then the other;

alternating feelings of love and hate

Alternateadjective

of leaves and branches etc; first on one side and then on the other in two ranks along an axis; not paired;

stems with alternate leaves

Comparison Chart

AlternateAlternative
“A thing or a person serving in place of another is alternate.”“Such a second option which does not replace the first is alternative.”
Number of Letters
NineEleven
Pronunciation
/ɔːltəneɪt/ or /ɒltəneɪt//ɔːlˈtəːnətɪv/ or /ɒlˈtəːnətɪv/.
Parts of Speech
Adjective, noun, verbAdjective, noun
Origin
From LatinFrom Latin via French

Alternate vs. Alternative

An alternate is a thing or a person serving in place of another; on the other hand, an alternative is a second option with no replacement.

The pronunciation of alternate is /ɔːltəneɪt/ or /ɒltəneɪt/; on the flip side, the pronunciation of the word alternative is /ɔːlˈtəːnətɪv/ or /ɒlˈtəːnətɪv/. The total number of letters in alternate is nine; on the other side, the letters that alternative contains are eleven.

The word ‘alternate’ comes directly from Latin; conversely, the word ‘alternative’ comes through French translating into the meaning ‘different.’

The word alternate is an adjective, a noun, and a verb also. As an adjective, it means “(of days) every other, (of time) every second.” As an adjective, it also means “a thing followed by the other in a regular pattern.” As a noun, it refers to a person acting as a deputy or substitute. As a verb, it means “to occur, perform, or repeatedly do in turn.” It also means “repeatedly change between any two contrasting conditions.” On the other hand, the word alternative is an adjective, as well as a noun. As an adjective, it means “the possibility or availability of another choice.” As a noun, it means “two or many possibilities that are available.”

What is Alternate?

The word alternate originated from a Latin word ‘alternus’ meaning to take turns. An alternate is a thing or a person serving in place of another. The word alternate is an adjective, a noun, and a verb also. As an adjective, it means “(of days) every other, (of time) every second.” As an adjective, it also means “a thing followed by the other in a regular pattern.” As a noun, it refers to a person acting as a deputy or substitute. As a verb, it means “to occur, perform, or repeatedly do in turn.” It also means “repeatedly change between any two contrasting conditions.”

The pronunciation of alternate is /ɔːltəneɪt/ or /ɒltəneɪt/. The word ‘alternate’ comes directly from Latin apart from its counterpart alternative that comes via the French language. The total number of letters in alternate is six. The letters that alternative contains are eleven. The use of the word alternate is common than its counterpart. It is also used in science fiction. There is the phrase ‘alternate universe’ in science fiction that means a different universe. The word ‘alternate’ is also used in street signs and official documents.

An alternate is known as the replacement for the original thing/person/place. It is a replacement for such a thing, which is no longer an option. In other words, an alternative is the other option for the original one. We can also say that an alternative is a final option. An alternative is left after all other options are gone.

Examples

  • “The bus is broken. We need alternate transport.”
  • The road is closed due to landslide, so we need to take an alternate (as an adjective)
  • “The lights alternate between red and white.” (as a verb)
  • “I felt first amused and then angered by the situation, though my alternate emotions returned to humor when I noted the underlying implications.”
  • “We alternated between watching the baby and taking short naps.”

What is Alternative?

The word alternative originated from the Latin word ‘alternus’ meaning to take turns. It comes through the French word that is translating into the meaning ‘different.’ An alternative is such a second option that does not replace the first.

The pronunciation of the word alternative is /ɔːlˈtəːnətɪv/ or /ɒlˈtəːnətɪv/. The letters that alternative contains are eleven. The word alternative is an adjective, as well as a noun. As an adjective, it means “the possibility or availability of another choice.” As a noun, it means “two or many possibilities that are available.”

The word alternative directs a second or another option. It does not replace the original as its counterpart ‘alternate’ does. An alternative as an adjective is also used in phrases. These phrases are ‘alternative medicine,’ ‘alternative lifestyle.’ In such phrases, it means a thing that is outside the normal or routine practice.

Examples

  • We could try to ram the castle doors, but I have an alternative: we scale the walls instead.”
  • “Our driver is asking for twice as much money than expected. My neighbor’s driver is an alternative.” (as a noun)
  • “The construction has closed this road. Come on, let’s take an alternative route.” (as an adjective)
  • “The car is quite expensive. I think we should take alternative transport.”
  • “Our last alternative is to kill the snake to prevent ourselves from harm.”
Conclusion

Alternate and alternative are the two different words with similar spelling and pronunciation, but both these words are different from each other.