A group of words with similar sounds but different meanings is called a homophone. Most English writers and scholars often use the words ‘apart’ and ‘a apart’ interchangeably to mean one thing, yet they mean totally different meanings even though they are pronounced the same. Apart Vs A Part:
The major notable difference between the two words is the spacing that brings about the difference in meaning ‘apart’ and ‘a part.’ These two are words are referred to as homophones. Let us now delve deeper into the interchangeable use of the words apart vs. apart by starting with the definition.
Definition of Words Apart and A Part
Let us define each of the words by giving examples of when to use them appropriately. Apart is an adverb, while a part can be used as an adjective, a preposition, a noun, or a verb, depending on the framing of the sentence.
Use of Apart (one word)
Definition; Means separately or different from. The word ‘apart’ can also be used as an adverb (an adverb is used in a sentence to qualify or justify a verb). Example in a sentence:
- They are four years apart in terms of their birth order
- They live 10 meters apart
Depending on the application of a particular statement. The word ‘apart’ can be used as an adverb or an adjective.
What is the correct use of apart?
Using the word ‘apart’ as an adverb will indicate the distinction between two things considering time, physical, or an insinuation. Be careful while using the two lest it brings a different meaning from the initial intent.
Examples of correct usage of the word apart;
Below are sentences where the word apart (as one word) has been used wrongly, and the correction guide provided;
Wrong usage: My brothers and I are three years apart
Correct sentence: My brothers and I are three years apart.
Wrong usage: The twin girls do not like to be a part of each other during school days.
Correct sentence: The twin girls do not like to be apart from each other during school days.
Wrong sentence: My colleague and I used to sit desks apart before she relocated to Australia.
Correct sentence: My colleague and I used to sit at a desk apart from each other before she relocated to Australia.
The word ‘apart’ can be used in a sentence as an adjective (after a verb which is a doing word or an action). To dismantle something or a n object into different pieces. Examples of using ‘Apart’ in the sentence
- He was taken apart because of his uncouth behavior
- The team building exercise was meant to create cohesion in the team and break them apart even more.
- The television dropped down to the ground floor and broke apart.
The word ‘apart’ is also used when one wants to bring an addition to what is already present. Being used as a preposition.
- Apart from her being my sister, she is my best friend.
- Apart from their house in Kenya, they have another apartment in Vienna.
The word apart can be used to indicate distinction as an adjective. For example, in a sentence, my color preference and my sisters’ are worlds apart.
Use of A part (two words)
Definition: A fragment of a whole piece or a set-aside segment that makes a whole piece. This is a combination of the article ‘a and the word ‘part,’ which is a noun. The word ‘a part’ can be used as a noun, adverb, or verb.
- As a Noun
Examples in sentences are as follows; the picture only tells a part of the story. The square is to be divided into two equal parts
- As a verb
The example of the use as a verb (doing word) is; she is not a part of the team
- As an adverb
This is when the word a part is used to distinguish two things; Milimani is a part slum and part serene.
Examples of a Part in Sentences
- Below are examples of parts used in different sentences to bring different meanings.
- You are not just a family friend, but a part of us
- All the days and times we spent in the Caribbean feel like a part of me went with you and a part of you with me. I can’t stay away from you.
- Losing someone you love to death is one grief you can never get over. Your love feels so near yet far away. This is a part of you that will never heal.
- Have you ever stopped to analyze what your role was in the situation? A part of you seems so lost in thoughts.
Words/terms with the word ‘apart.’
- Torn apart
- Apart from
- Drifting apart
- Worlds apart
Words and terms with the word ‘a part.’
- A part of us
- Play a part (Take a role in a situation or play)
- Acting apart
Is it a part or a part?
Below is a comparison of examples of when to appropriately use the words ‘apart’ and ‘apart.’
|Use of A part||Use of Apart|
|A part of the slices was missing||The wall clock was taken apart
|She is a part of the family||The phone was broken apart
|Apart from their shopping was taken off||The girls could not be kept apart
|They are a part of the team that visited Lake Bogoria last wee||‘Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe|
|The team arrested were a part of the guys that stole from the store||Their love was tried and tested because they were worlds apart|
|Judas was questioned if he was a part of the disciples of Jesus but ended up denying it.||When you are apart from the people you care about, you miss them a lot.|
So what does it mean to be a part of something? This is to be involved (of a person) or to be included in a bigger picture.
The two words can be joined in one sentence but will bring out the meaning intended. Below are some examples of sentences with the two words together:
- Falling apart is a part of life that we cannot avoid. We have to pick up the pieces of our lives.
- Joseph and Mary are now living apart after their marriage fell apart
Tip for choosing Apart vs. A Part
Apart is used when referring to things that are being separated or to be separated which could be living or non-living things
A part refers to something or something being a section of a whole part. One-third is a part of a circle.
Before inserting either of the words, read the following word; if the next word is ‘of,’ then automatically the word to use is ‘apart,’ and when the next word is ‘from,’ then the correct word to use is part.’
The significant difference is that an apart – is to separate while a part – is a piece or a section of a whole. When describing more than two items, use ‘apart’ consequently instead of saying taken away, insert say taken ‘apart.’
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