Alter vs Altar

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What’s the difference between them?

Alter

Meaning:

To change; make different; modify.

Examples:

1. We must alter our plans for the meeting.

2. She decided to alter her hairstyle.

3. The dress could be easily altered to fit her.

Altar

Meaning:

A raised platform or structure, typically found in a church, used for making religious sacrifices or offerings.

Examples:

1. The priest performed the marriage ceremony at the altar.

2. She knelt at the altar to pray.

3. The bride and groom exchanged vows at the altar.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Alter

1. Change

2. Switch

3. Modify

4. Vary

5. Transform

1. Remain

2. Preserve

3. Keep Intact

4. Maintain Status Quo

5. Refrain From Change

Altar

1. Sanctuary

2. Shrine

3. Holy place

4. Sacrifice spot

5. Offering table

1. Profane

2. Abhor

3. Pagan

4. Denial

5. Reject Sacrament

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Alter", "Altar".

1. Remember that 'Alter' is related to 'Change', while 'Altar' is related to 'Sacrifice' to make it easier to recall the difference between the two.

2. Mnemonic phrases such as 'Alter for Change, Altar for Sacrifice' can help to cement the difference even further.

3. Practice using each word in sentences to help recall the meaning and usage for each.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

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Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the 'alter' be used?

Alter can be used in any situation where you are looking to make a change or modify something. Alter can be used to refer to changing an object, attitude, opinion, or behavior. The use of alter can apply to physical objects, but it is often used to refer to abstract concepts.

When is the appropriate context for using the word 'altar'?

Altar is a noun that is often used in religious contexts, as it is typically found in a church or other place of worship. An altar is a raised platform or structure used for making religious sacrifices or offerings. It is also used as a focal point of devotion in some types of ceremonies.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, these two words do not share the same pronunciation. Alter is pronounced with a short 'a' sound (as in 'palm'), and is stressed on the first syllable. Altar is pronounced with a long 'a' sound (as in 'father'), and is stressed on the second syllable.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One of the most common mistakes people make is using the wrong word. Alter is a verb that is used to indicate a change or modification, whereas altar is a noun that is typically used in religious contexts. Another common mistake is mispronouncing the words. As mentioned previously, alter is pronounced with a short 'a' sound and is stressed on the first syllable, while altar is pronounced with a long 'a' sound and is stressed on the second syllable.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. The priest made a sacrifice on the ________.

2. The headmaster decided to ________ the schools uniform policy.

3. Marie has made a few ________s to her speech before the conference.

4. The worshippers made their way up to the ________.

5. The council voted to ________ the towns bylaws.

6. The Prime Minister proposed an ________ to the current tax system.

1. The priest made a sacrifice on the Altar.

Explanation: An altar is a raised structure on which religious ceremonies are performed, so it is a fitting place to make a sacrifice.

2. The headmaster decided to Alter the schools uniform policy.

Explanation: To alter means to make changes to something, so in this case the headmaster is making changes to the schools uniform policy.

3. Marie has made a few Alterations to her speech before the conference.

Explanation: To alter means to make changes to something, so in this case Marie has made changes to her speech before the conference.

4. The worshippers made their way up to the Altar.

Explanation: An altar is a raised structure on which religious ceremonies are performed, so it is a fitting place for worshippers to make their way to.

5. The council voted to Alter the towns bylaws.

Explanation: To alter means to make changes to something, so in this case the council is making changes to the towns bylaws.

6. The Prime Minister proposed an alter to the current tax system.

Explanation: To alter means to make changes to something, so in this case the Prime Minister is proposing changes to the current tax system.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.