A Part or Apart?

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Difference between "A Part" and "Apart"?

"Apart" and "a part" are sometimes confused by writers.
  • Apart means besides or separately. For example:
    • Everyone saw the whale apart from John. correct tick
    • (Here, "apart" means besides or except.)
    • Since the argument, we have lived apart. correct tick
    • (Here, "apart" means separately.)
  • A part means a piece or a segment. For example:
    • I want a part of the estate. correct tick
    • (Here, "a part" means a piece.)
apart or a part difference

More about "Apart" and "A Part"

There is often confusion over "a part" and "apart." Although they sound exactly the same, the two have very different meanings.


"Apart" is an adverb meaning separated by a specified distance in time or space. For example:
  • Apart from the wind, itís quite pleasant outside. correct tick
  • Without hope, the very fabric of our society will fall apart. (Tycoon Theo Paphitis) correct tick

A Part

"Part" means a piece or segment of something. "Part" often appears in the phrase "a part." For example:
  • Until you have loved an animal, a part of your soul remains unawakened. (Poet Anatole France) correct tick
  • You simply have to accept that your demons are a part of you. (Singer Aurora) correct tick
The article "a" can be dropped when "part" is not followed by an adjective.
  • Rumours are part of show business. correct tick
  • Rumours are a huge part of show business. correct tick
  • (The article "a" is necessary when it is followed by an adjective.)

Common Terms with "Apart" and "A Part"

Common terms with the word "apart":
  • apart but together
  • worlds apart
  • tear apart
  • to come apart at the seams
  • drift apart
  • poles apart
Common terms with the word "a part":
  • to play a part (a role)
  • to act a part

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