Alternate means 'one after the other, in turns'.
Alternative refers to a choice between two things.
The adverbs are alternately and alternatively.
In the USA they prefer to use alternate in both cases, while in the UK they make a clear distinction between alternate and alternative.
Alternate significa 'uno después del otro, en turnos'.
Alternative se refiere a una opción entre dos cosas.
Los adverbios son alternately y alternatively.
En los Estados Unidos prefieren usar alternate en ambos casos, mientras que en el Reino Unido hacen una distinción clara entre alternate y alternative.
- alternate, alternately
The boys must take alternate turns on the computer (=one after the other).
The poker players alternately delt cards from the pack (=took turns at dealing the cards).
- alternative, alternatively
If we can't go by car, our only alternative is the train (=the other option).
Luckily, I have an alternative car if this one doesn't start.
I might eat pizza tonight, or alternatively I might eat steak.
We thank Francis Dixon-Clarke (from Sao Paulo, Brazil) for his contribution.
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