The words altar and alter often confuse students because they are homophones.These words have the same pronunciation even though they are different parts of speech. Altar (with an A) is a noun. Alter (with an E) is a verb.
Altar and alter are spelled differently
Altar and alter share the same pronunciation ˈɔːltə(r)
- He approached the altar and placed the candle on it.
- They kneeled at the altar and prayed.
- The altar cloths must be changed regularly.
The word altar also is the part of the following idiom.
on the altar of
Meaning: in order to achieve something
- Do not sacrifice your happiness on the altar of your greed.
The verb alter means to change something.
- I almost didn’t recognize him - he’d altered so much.
- Moving to the country has altered our lifestyle.
- Nothing can alter the fact that your acts are illegal.
- My hometown has altered beyond all recognition.
As an adjective, alter can be the part of the following phrase
Meaning: the other side of someone’s personality
- Batman’s alter ego is Bruce Wayne.