Word for Wednesday: Separate

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Our Word for Wednesday theme for 2023 is tricky spelling words. This year, as well as sharing the definition and etymology of each week’s word, we will end every blog post with some tips and tricks to help you spell it.

So far in February, we've looked at the word receive and necessary. Our third word of the month is separate.

If you separate two or more things, it means you split them up or put a barrier or distinction between them. The word is used to describe things that are not joint to something else. Sometime parts of a matching outfit (like a suit) are called separates.

Here is separate used in some example sentences:

  • The teacher will separate you if you talk in class.
  • She works in a separate office to the rest of the team.
  • Please separate the egg white from the yolk.
  • The shop sold skirts and blazers as separates

Separate comes from the Latin ‘separare’ meaning ‘to pull apart’. 

It is the middle of the word separate that is tricky to spell: you need to remember correct order of the Rs, As, and Es.

Look for smaller words in the middle of separate to help you remember the order of the letters:

  • separaterat
  • separatepara
  • separate rate 

Alternatively, remember that the two As are separated with an R.

Learn more about the word separate in Spellzone Unit 32. Word endings: -et, -ot, -ate, -ite and practise words ending in -ate in our spelling activities.


15 Feb 2023
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One of the students has put in a huge amount of effort in completing Spellzone at least 3 times a week since his arrival with us in January. Looking at his scores after the latest GL testing, his standardised score has risen from 99 to 131. This is a truly phenomenal result. I just wanted to share the best result I have ever seen.

Terrie Penrose-Toms, Casterton College