alternate vs alternative

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Senior Member
India - Hindi & English

Which one is correct-

alternate phone number
alternative phone number

what's the difference?

  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    In BrE only 'alternative' is correct (meaning one from a choice of two or more), and 'alternate' means something quite different: a zebra has alternate black and white stripes, that is two things follow each other, first one then the other, repeating. In AmE 'alternate' has both these meanings.


    Senior Member
    This question has been added to a previous thread. Cagey, moderator.

    I don' know how diffetent "alternate" and "alternative" are if alternate is used as an adjective.
    After reading some thread about this, I am still confused with the two.
    Anybody help me?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Senior Member
    English - American
    I can't think of any case where they wouldn't be completely synonymous, so I would think about them as such.


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Hello, nnyy. :)

    It's difficult to know how to be helpful without more information. What still confuses you that the other threads don't explain? Please give us a sentence in which you thing you might use these words, as an example.
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