Common mistake alter (altar)

Common Mistake: alter vs. altar

One of the most common mistakes made in writing is confusing "alter" and "altar". While they may sound similar, they have vastly different meanings and should not be used interchangeably. Let's take a closer look at each word and how to use them correctly.


The word "alter" is a verb that means to change or modify something. It is often used when talking about making adjustments or amending something to fit a particular purpose or preference. Here are a few examples:

  • I need to alter my dress to make it fit properly.
  • She decided to alter her schedule to accommodate the new meeting time.
  • The editor suggested altering the sentence structure to improve clarity.


On the other hand, an "altar" is a noun that refers to a table or platform used as a center of worship or sacred ritual. It is commonly found in religious settings, such as churches, temples, or shrines. Here are some examples of how to use "altar" correctly:

  • The bride and groom stood before the altar to exchange their vows.
  • The candles were placed on the altar as an offering.
  • The priest blessed the sacraments on the church's altar.

It's essential to pay careful attention to context when using these words to avoid confusion, especially in formal writing or religious contexts.

Linguix grammar checker can be a helpful tool in avoiding common mistakes like confusing "alter" and "altar". It provides suggestions and corrections to ensure your writing is error-free.

alter (altar) mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    His altar ego was being Batman.

    His alter ego was being Batman.

  • Incorrect:
    He was an alter boy.

    He was an altar boy.

  • Incorrect:
    He was at the alter.

    He was at the altar.

  • Incorrect:
    He danced around the alter.

    He danced around the altar.

  • Incorrect:
    O Come to the alter

    O Come to the altar

  • Incorrect:
    Forty-seven percent of executives said they were concerned that retiring Boomers will significantly altar the workforce in the next decade.

    Forty-seven percent of executives said they were concerned that retiring Boomers will significantly alter the workforce in the next decade.

  • Correct:
    He will radically alter his work.
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