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What is the difference between alternate and alternative?

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'Alternative' suggests a substitute whereas 'alternate' suggests a variation in sequence.

If you want to book a particular room in a hotel and you find that the room is already booked, the hotel could offer you alternative accommodation.

If a shop is not open every day but say on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, you would say it was open alternate days in the week.
Mahesh fom MRIMT
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