Alternate and Alternative have been generally thought by many people to be sharing the same meaning. This might be as a result of the fact that they are almost similar in their spellings. However, Alternate and Alternative differ in some ways. Alternate means being or succeeding by turns; one following the other in succession of time or place; by turns first one and then the other. It is used as an adjective and also as a noun. When it is used as a noun, it talks about something or someone which has been designated to take the place of another.
Alternative, on the other hand, is when you are having a privilege to choose between two available options. Many a time, when people are venturing into something, they often go with two options, so that if the first plan fails, they will proceed to the second one which will in turn serve as the alternative option.