A Part or Apart?

by Craig Shrives

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

The Quick Answer

A Part

(noun phrase) "a piece" or "a segment"
  • Advertising is a part of the main plan. correct tick


(adverb) "separated by a distance or by time," "separately," or "except"
  • Jack and Jill sat apart all evening. correct tick
apart or a part difference
"Apart" and "a part" are often confused by writers because they sound identical. Their meanings, of course, are quite different. In fact, they are completely different parts of speech. "Apart" is an adverb. It means "separately." "A part" is a noun phrase ("part" is a noun; "a" is a modifier). It means "a piece" or "a segment." For example:
  • Everyone saw the whale apart from John. correct tick
  • (Here, "apart" means "except.")
  • Since the argument, we have lived apart. correct tick
  • (Here, "apart" means "separately.")
  • I want a part of the estate. correct tick
  • (Here, "a part" means "a piece.")

Quick Test on Apart and A Part

It's your go. Select the correct one:


"Apart" is an adverb meaning separated by a specified distance in time or space. For example:
  • Apart from the wind, it's 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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