Apart vs. A Part

Apart and a part are two correct words with different meanings and are not interchangeable. Apart (one word) is used as an adverb or adjective that implies separation, while a part (two words) means that a thing is a part of another thing.

A useful technique to avoid confusion is remembering the prepositions they are often paired with. For example, apart is commonly paired with from while a part is often paired with of.

Another tip is to take away a and see if the meaning still makes sense. If it does, use a part, and if it doesn’t, use apart.

When to Use Apart

Apart is an adverb that means “separate from, or at a distance away from.” It shows a separation between two things physically, figuratively, or in time. As an adjective, it means “isolated” or “separated.”

Showing Physical Distance


We are standing three meters apart from each other.

There were men fighting. Luckily, some helped pull them apart.

Stand next to each other two feet apart.

Showing Separation Figuratively


I keep my career and love life as far apart as possible.

My business and your business are apart. We’re not on the same team.

Let’s keep this personal conversation apart from our work.

Showing Separation by Time


Our holidays are two days apart.

Marian’s birthday and my birthday are exactly two months apart.

We have to water the plant ten days apart.

Showing Physical Separation


My father and mother are living apart.

I have never been apart from my family for so long. 

Keith and her husband are currently living apart.

Using as a Preposition “Besides” or “Except For”

Apart from is used as a preposition to mean “besides” or “except for.”


I liked the work you did, apart from the minor mistakes.

Apart from your parents, I also care about you.

I accept your apology, apart from your tone.


When to Use A Part

A part is a two-word phrase that means “a thing is part of something bigger” or “a piece of something.” “A” is an article marker, and “part” is the noun. Moreover, this phrase is often paired with the preposition of.

Expressing a Piece of Something


A part of myself is fulfilled to be working in a company with values and integrity.

He lost a part of the puzzle, and now he couldn’t continue finishing it.

Being a part of this group has always been my dream.

Expressing a Role of Actor in Theater

Another usage of “a part” is when referring to a theater setting, as in “the role of an actor.”


Monica auditioned for a part in the play. I think she did well.

She’s auditioning for a part in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’

He’s playing a part in ‘Macbeth.’

Conclusion: Apart vs. A Part – What’s the Difference?

Apart and a part are both correct words but differ in meaning and are not synonymous. Moreover, we use apart (one word) to show separation physically, figuratively, or in time. Meanwhile, we use a part (two words) to express that something is part of another thing, group, or section.

Remember, apart is typically paired with from while a part is frequently paired with of. If confused, removea and see if the intended meaning is correct. If it does, opt for a part, and if it doesn’t, use apart. If it helps, consult a grammar tool to improve writing.


Merriam Webster Dictionary. (n.d). Apart. In https://www.merriam-webster.com/ dictionary. Retrieved February 4, 2022, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apart

Longman Dictionary. (n.d.). Apart. In https://www.ldoceonline.com/ dictionary. Retrieved February 4, 2022, from https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/apart

Oxford Learn’s Dictionary. (n.d.) Apart. In https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/ Retrieved February 4, 2022, from https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/apart