In this blog post we look at when to use altar and when to use alter.
"Alter" and "altar" are two words that are often confused because they are homonyms (they are pronounced the same way) but they have different meanings and spellings.
"Alter" is a verb that means to make a change or modification to something. It can be used to refer to physical changes, such as altering a piece of clothing to fit better, or to more abstract changes, such as altering one's behavior or beliefs. The word "alter" comes from the Latin "alterare," which means "to change."
"Altar" is a noun that refers to a raised platform or table used in religious ceremonies or rituals. Altars are often found in churches, temples, and other places of worship, and they are used to hold sacred objects or as a place for offerings or sacrifices. The word "altar" comes from the Latin "altare," which means "high place."
So, while "alter" is a verb that means to make a change, "altar" is a noun that refers to a religious platform or table.
Here are some examples to illustrate the difference:
I need to alter this dress to make it fit better. (Correct)
I need to altar this dress to make it fit better. (Incorrect)
The couple decided to alter their wedding plans due to the pandemic. (Correct)
The couple decided to altar their wedding plans due to the pandemic. (Incorrect)
The priest placed the bread and wine on the altar for the Eucharist. (Correct)
The priest placed the bread and wine on the alter for the Eucharist. (Incorrect)
Here are some example sentences using the word altar.
The priest placed the bread and wine on the altar for the Eucharist.
The couple exchanged their vows at the altar in front of their family and friends.
The ancient ruins contained an altar dedicated to the gods of the earth.
The altar was adorned with flowers and candles for the wedding ceremony.
The Hindu temple had several altars dedicated to different deities.
The altar boy assisted the priest during the Mass by lighting the candles and carrying the sacred vessels.
The altar was decorated with intricate carvings and gold leaf.
The altar cloth was embroidered with symbols of the faith.
The altar was a focal point of the church, and many people came to pray in front of it.
The altar stone was believed to have special powers and was used in rituals to bring good fortune.
Here are some example sentences using the word alter.
I need to alter this dress to make it fit better.
The couple decided to alter their wedding plans due to the pandemic.
The artist altered the painting by adding a splash of color to the sky.
The scientist altered the experiment by changing the variables.
The company altered its policies to be more inclusive.
The government altered the law to protect the environment.
The actor altered her appearance with a wig and makeup for the role.
The doctor altered the patient's medication to see if it would be more effective.
The teacher altered the lesson plan to accommodate the needs of the students.
The chef altered the recipe by adding a pinch of spice to the sauce.