alternate, alternately, alternative, alternatively

As a verb, alternate means "to change back and forth," "to occur in successive turns." It is pronounced with primary accent on the first syllable and is usually followed by with: "Sunny and rainy days alternate with each other at this season." As an adjective, alternate is also pronounced with accent on the first syllable but is not followed by with: "He introduced an alternate proposal." Alternately, an adverb, carries the same general meaning as alternate: "The hiker alternately walked and jogged." Alternative refers to a situation involving a choice: "You have the alternative of speaking or of keeping quiet." As both noun and adjective, alternative is pronounced with primary accent on the second syllable. The distinction between alternately and alternatively is that the former suggests a meaning of "one after the other" and the latter carries a meaning of "one or the other." Neither alternative nor alternatively is restricted to a choice between only two: "The alternatives are stagnation, cold war, peace, or compromise." To keep these distinctions in mind, remember that alternate and alternately have a basic meaning of "by turns" and alternative and alternatively pertain to some kind of choice.

Dictionary of problem words and expressions. . 1975.

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  • alternately — See alternate, alternately, alternative, alternatively …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • alternatively — See alternate, alternately, alternative, alternatively …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • alternate — See alternate, alternately, alternative, alternatively …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • alternative — See alternate, alternately, alternative, alternatively …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • alternately — alternate ► VERB 1) occur or do in turn repeatedly. 2) change repeatedly between two contrasting conditions. ► ADJECTIVE 1) every other. 2) (of two things) each following and succeeded by the other in a regular pattern. 3) chiefly N. Amer.… …   English terms dictionary

  • alternate — ► VERB 1) occur or do in turn repeatedly. 2) change repeatedly between two contrasting conditions. ► ADJECTIVE 1) every other. 2) (of two things) each following and succeeded by the other in a regular pattern. 3) chiefly N. Amer. another term for …   English terms dictionary

  • List of English words with disputed usage — Some English words are often used in ways that are contentious between writers on usage and prescriptive commentators. The contentious usages are especially common in spoken English. While in some circles the usages below may make the speaker… …   Wikipedia

  • alternation — alternate ► VERB 1) occur or do in turn repeatedly. 2) change repeatedly between two contrasting conditions. ► ADJECTIVE 1) every other. 2) (of two things) each following and succeeded by the other in a regular pattern. 3) chiefly N. Amer.… …   English terms dictionary

  • textile — /teks tuyl, til/, n. 1. any cloth or goods produced by weaving, knitting, or felting. 2. a material, as a fiber or yarn, used in or suitable for weaving: Glass can be used as a textile. adj. 3. woven or capable of being woven: textile fabrics. 4 …   Universalium

  • china — /chuy neuh/, n. 1. a translucent ceramic material, biscuit fired at a high temperature, its glaze fired at a low temperature. 2. any porcelain ware. 3. plates, cups, saucers, etc., collectively. 4. figurines made of porcelain or ceramic material …   Universalium

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