Grammar Patterns

N to n

The 'alternative' group

These nouns refer to something that is different from something else, or that balances or opposes something else.
They believed in lighter custodial sentences and alternatives to prison.
The severe weakening of Iran in the Iran-Iraq war left the Gulf region without a counterbalance to Iraqi power.
It may have been chaos at times, but this year's Venice Festival looks as if it can now become a real rival to Cannes.
In the case of alternative, the preposition to is sometimes followed by an '-ing' clause.
The alternative to spending a lot of money is to buy second-hand.
  • alternative
  • competitor
  • contrast
  • corrective
  • counter
  • counterbalance
  • counterpoint
  • counterweight
  • rival
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