Grammar 5 min read

Seperate or Separate: Which One Should You Use?

Main Takeaways:

  • Separate—with an “a” in the middle—is the correct spelling.
  • Seperate is a common misspelling of separate.
  • Separate can be an adjective, a verb, or a noun.
  • You can use a mnemonic device like The Offspring song “Come Out and Play” or the golf term “par.” This will help you remember the correct spelling of separate.
  • Other related words like separated, separating, and separately are also commonly misspelled.
  • Separate synonyms include unconnected, unrelated, split up, break up, divide, and detached.

To seperate or separate—that is the question. Today’s query might not be as poetic as the Shakespeare original, but it’s just as important.

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Separate is one of the most frequently misspelled words in the English language.

Understanding the proper way to spell commonly misspelled words is essential. Brush up on your grammar, and you’ll get an edge up on the competition. Plus, you’ll look pretty smart, and that never hurts.

Is it Seperate or Separate?

Seperate is not a word. Instead, it’s a common way people misspell separate. Separate is always the correct spelling. It can be a noun, verb, or an adjective. When it’s a verb, it means to divide, distinguish, or set apart. The one-letter difference between seperate and separate makes it easy to slip up and use the wrong form.

Seperate is a common misspelling of the word
Seperate is a common misspelling of the word “separate.”

The Official Separate Definition

Separate can be an adjective, a verb, or a noun.

Separate (adjective): viewed as its own unit, apart from something else
We booked two separate rooms, so I wouldn’t have to hear my husband snoring.
Separate (verb): to move or cause to be apart
We had to separate the kids so that they wouldn’t fight the whole way to Grandma’s house.
Separate (noun): An item of clothing able to be worn individually or mixed and matched, such as a pair of pants, skirt, or shirt
She built her wardrobe using separates in neutral colors for the ultimate in versatility.

How to Remember Seperate vs. Separate

Using a mnemonic device can help you remember which spelling of separate or seperate is correct.

Some people like music mnemonics, which use song lyrics to help jog their memories. In the Offspring’s song “Come Out and Play,” they say:

Hey – man you talkin’ back to me?

Take him out

You gotta keep ’em separated

Hey – man you disrespecting me?

Take him out

You gotta keep ’em separated

When it comes to seperate and separate, you’ve got to “keep ‘em separated” because only one is correct! If you’re an Offspring fan, you’ll give the band an A+ for talent, so you know that the correct spelling is sepArate.

Another popular mnemonic for separate vs. seperate is to remember the correct version has PAR in the middle. If you like to golf, this mnemonic will be easy to remember!

Since they were both coming from work, they drove in two sePARate cars.
Since they were both coming from work, they drove in two sePERate cars.

Common Misspellings of Separate

In addition to misspelling separate as seperate, people often misspell words related to separate. This includes separated, separation, and separately.

I keep my clean and dirty clothes separated, so it’s easier to do laundry.
The airplane seats were seperated by an armrest they both wanted to use.
Store your fruit and vegetables separately to keep them from spoiling.
I spoked to the students seperately to determine which one was cheating.
My parents are going through a trial separation.
The seperation of church and state is an essential part of our constitution.

What is a Synonym for Separate?

If you don’t want to use separate in a sentence, you can use one of a number of separate synonyms. Words like distinct, independent, move apart, and break up may all work, depending on the meaning of your overall sentence.

If you’re looking for a synonym for separate to use as an adjective, try:

  • Unconnected
  • Unrelated
  • Different
  • Distinct
  • Independent
  • Autonomous
  • Disconnected
  • Detached
She considered two separate possibilities before making her decision.
She considered two distinct possibilities before making her decision.

If you’re looking for a synonym for separate to use as a verb, try:

  • Split up
  • Break up
  • Divide
  • Isolate
  • Segregate
  • Part
  • Remove
  • Move apart
If you want to share the pie equally, separate it into four pieces.
If you want to share the pie equally, divide it into four pieces.

What about matching pieces of clothes? When looking for a synonym for separate to use as a fashionable noun, try:

  • Set
  • Coordinates

This one is a little trickier. Depending on the context, some synonyms will work better than others.

She went shopping for separates to dress the part for her new office job.
She went shopping for coordinates to dress the part for her new office job.

Once you have a mnemonic or two under your belt, it will be easier to remember seperate vs. separate. That’s yet another grammar concept mastered. Congrats!

Read More: Blond Vs. Blonde: Untangle The Difference

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