Skip to main content

Apart vs. A Part (Grammar Rules)

This post looks at the differences between apart and a part with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

One reason I love doing these Grammar Rules posts is that they help me personally with my own writing and understanding of grammar. One of my admitted weak spots is when I'm trying to figure out when to use one-word versus two-word spellings (for example, a while vs. awhile).

(Common Writing Mistakes and How to Fix Them.)

So this week, let's look at the differences between apart and a part and when to use each.

Apart vs. A Part (Grammar Rules)

Apart vs. A Part

Apart can be used as an adverb or adjective. As an adjective, it describes someone or something as being separate, isolated, or having different opinions. As an adverb, apart refers to separation of distance, being separate (or independent), in two or more parts, or excluded from consideration.

(Writing for the Time Impoverished.)

Meanwhile, the part in a part is a noun that can refer to several things, including a piece of something or someone, a body organ, lines from a play, a musical piece, and more. A few synonyms for part include section, segment, piece, and portion.

Make sense?

Here are a couple examples of apart and a part:

Correct: She thinks they're still too far apart on the asking price of their house.
Incorrect: She thinks they're still too far a part on the asking price of their house.

Correct: He was offered a part in the upcoming play.
Incorrect: He was offered apart in the upcoming play.

Here's my trick for keeping these two in line: If I can replace the "part" in "apart" with a synonym like "piece" or "segment" without losing meaning, then I probably need to use the two-word spelling. If I can't, then I likely need the one-word option.

*****

Grammar and Mechanics

No matter what type of writing you do, mastering the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics is an important first step to having a successful writing career.

Click to continue.

Your Story Writing Prompts

94 Your Story Writing Prompts

Due to popular demand, we've assembled all the Your Story writing prompts on WritersDigest.com in one post. Click the link to find each prompt, the winners, and more.

How Inspiration and Research Shape a Novel

How Inspiration and Research Shape a Novel

Historical fiction relies on research to help a story’s authenticity—but it can also lead to developments in the story itself. Here, author Lora Davies discusses how inspiration and research helped shape her new novel, The Widow’s Last Secret.

Poetic Forms

Saraband: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the saraband, a septet (or seven-line) form based on a forbidden dance.

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

International bestselling author Karen Hamilton discusses the “then and now” format of her new domestic thriller, The Ex-Husband.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character give or face an ultimatum.

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

Sylvia Beach was friend to many writers who wrote what we consider classics today. Here, author Kerri Maher shares six things everyone should know about her and Shakespeare and Company.

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

Author Katherine Quevedo takes an analytical look at the creative process in hopes to help other writers find writing success.

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Award-winning author Nick Petrie discusses how he listened to the story that wanted to be told in his new Peter Ash thriller novel, The Runaway.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 596

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a punishment poem.