A Part vs. Apart

Grammar Tips

Grammar Tip: A Part vs. Apart ~ from Mainstay Editorial Services

Grammar Tip: A Part vs. Apart

Recently, a reader reached out and suggested I write a piece on apart vs. a part. I love getting requests and suggestions for my Grammar Tips blog and am happy to oblige.


Used as a single word, apart has a few meanings. For one, it means to have a little distance in space or time. Additionally, it refers to items as separate units. And, finally, apart can mean to exclude from consideration.

Examples of Apart:

  1. The business partners took a little time apart to brainstorm ideas before their next meeting.
  2. It can be difficult to tell the two puzzle pieces apart.
  3. The performance was amazing apart from the few audience members that whispered throughout the show.

A Part

The two-word phrase means something is a portion of a bigger thing. In this case, the memory trick is to think of opposites. Since a part means something goes together, the trick is that you use the version of a part that does not go to together. You use the two-word phrase. Another way to remember this version is that you can remove the “a” from the phrase and just use the word “part”.

Additionally, a part can mean an actor’s role in a film or play.

Examples of A Part:

  1. The plate is a part of an entire set once owned by my grandmother. (The plate is part of an entire set once owned by my grandmother.)
  2. She tried out for a part in the school play.
Do you have a grammar question? Let me know about it in the comments. I’ll answer your question in a future Grammar Tips post.

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