Words

Difference Between Alternate and Alternative

Main difference

The main difference between Alternative and Alternative is that the word Alternative is a thing or a person that serves instead of another, while Alternative is a second option that does not replace the first.

Alternative versus alternative

A substitute is a thing or a person who serves in place of another; on the other hand, an alternative is a second option without replacement.

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

The word ‘alternative’ comes directly from Latin; Conversely, the word “alternative” comes from French and translates to mean “different.”

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

Comparison chart

Alternate Alternative
“One thing or one person serving in place of another is alternative.” “A second option that does not replace the first is an alternative.”
number of letters
Nine Eleven
Pronunciation
/ɔːltəneɪt/ or /ɒltəneɪt/ /ɔːlˈtəːnətɪv/ or /ɒlˈtəːnətɪv/.
Parts of the sentence
adjective, noun, verb adjective, noun
Source
From Latin From Latin to French
What is alternative?

The word alternate originated from a Latin word ‘alternus’ which means to take turns. A substitute is a thing or a person who serves in place of another. The alternative word is an adjective, a noun and also a verb. As an adjective, it means “(of days) every two, (of time) every second.” As an adjective, it also means “one thing followed by another in a regular pattern.” As a noun, it refers to a person who acts as a substitute or substitute. As a verb, it means “to occur, perform, or do repeatedly in turn.” It also means “repeatedly switching between two contrasting conditions.”

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

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

examples

  • “The bus is broken. We need alternative transportation.”
  • The road is closed due to a landslide, so we must take an alternative (as an adjective)
  • “The lights alternate between red and white.” (as a verb)
  • “I was first amused and then angry about the situation, though my alternate emotions turned back to humor when I realized the underlying implications.”
  • “We alternate between taking care of the baby and taking short naps.”

What is Alternative?

The word alternate originated from the Latin word ‘alternus’, which means to take turns. It comes through the French word that translates to mean “different.” An alternative is a second option that does not replace the first.

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

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

examples

  • ” We could try to ram the castle gates, but I have an alternative: we scale the walls.”
  • “Our driver is asking twice as much money as expected. My neighbor’s driver is an alternative.” (as a noun)
  • Construction has closed this road. Come on, let’s take an alternate route.” (as an adjective)
  • “The car is quite expensive. I think we should take alternate transportation.”
  • “Our last alternative is to kill the snake to prevent it from harming us.”

Key differences

  1. A substitute is a thing, place or person that serves in place of another, while an alternative is a second or other option that does not replace the first.
  2. The word ‘alternative’ originated from a Latin word ‘alternus’ which means to take turns; on the other hand, the word ‘alternative’ originated from the same word.
  3. The word ‘alternative’ comes directly from Latin; On the other hand, the word “alternative” comes from French and is translated to mean “different”.
  4. The pronunciation of alternative is /ɔːltəneɪt/ or /ɒltəneɪt/; instead, the alternative pronunciation is /ɔːlˈtəːnətɪv/ or /ɒlˈtəːnətɪv/.
  5. The total number of alternate letters is nine; on the contrary, the letters that the alternative contains are eleven.
  6. The alternative word is an adjective, a noun, and a verb; on the contrary, the alternative word is both an adjective and a noun.
  7. As an adjective, alternate means “(of days) every other, (of time) every second, or “one thing followed by another in a regular pattern.” Rather, as an adjective, it means “the possibility or availability of another choice.”
  8. As a noun, alternative means “two or many available possibilities”; conversely, alternative refers to a person acting as a stand-in or substitute as a noun.

Final Thought

Alternative and alternate are the two different words with similar spelling and pronunciation but both words are different from each other.

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