If you've seen both spellings' separate' and 'seperate' being used, you might be wondering which one is correct. That's what this article will aim to answer.
In short, 'separate' is the correct spelling, and 'seperate' is a misspelling of the word and shouldn't be used.
Some might think that the difference between 'separate' and 'seperate' is that one is the American spelling, and the other is the British spelling. After all, there are many other words where that's the case. For example:
However, that's not the case with 'separate' and 'seperate.' No, this situation is much simpler: one is correct, and the other isn't. 'Separate' with an 'a' is the only accurate way to spell the word.
The spelling confusion could be because the first 'a' sounds close to either 'a' or 'e.' It's completely normal to be confused about the spelling. There are many other words for which the spelling often needs clarification because of how the word sounds.
The word 'separate' can be either a verb, an adjective, or, less commonly, a noun.
As a verb, to separate is the act of parting or making a distinction between two or more people, items, or ideas. They used to be united, and now they are separate. For example:
John and I have decided it's time for us to separate.
Remember to separate your whites from your colors when you wash.
It's best to separate your personal and professional issues.
That's a separate issue; we'll deal with that later.
The waiter offered to print two separate bills so that we could each pay for our own meal.
We've been sleeping in separate bedrooms for some time now.
As a noun, 'separates' is a way to refer to different items of clothing which you can pair together to make different combinations to form several outfits. It's usually used as a plural noun. For example:
I bought a bunch of separates, so my wardrobe is fully stocked for the Winter.
Separates are great because you can match them with other items to form almost limitless combos.
I love simple-colored separates: black, white, grey… they go with anything!
Note that the pronunciation varies depending on the type of word. The adjective and noun 'separate' are pronounced /ˈsep.ɚ.ət/, with the second 'a' being a short 'a'. The verb 'separate' is pronounced /ˈsep.ə.reɪt/ with the second 'a' taking on the long 'a' sound.
To summarize, 'separate' with two' a's is the correct spelling, and you should always write the word that way. If you ever see it spelled with two 'e's, 'seperate,' that's an error.
If you'd like to learn about more commonly misspelled words, visit our blog, where we cover many confusing words in the English language.