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alternate between (people or things)

To switch between two or more different people or things. We are going to alternate between the lead and the understudy at today's rehearsal. The air conditioner alternates between settings depending on the temperature, so I don't think it will get too cold in here. I'm going to alternate between the two microphones, and you tell me which one sounds better on the sound system.
See also: alternate, between

alternate with (someone)

To share a role or task with another person. Because you're co-hosts of the talent show, you need to alternate with each other. For instance, one of you could give the introductions while the other intersperses some jokes. We are going to alternate with the lead and the understudy at today's rehearsal. A: "Is there time for both of us to speak at the assembly?" B: "Sure, I'll just make a note that we're alternating between the student council president and the vice president."
See also: alternate

alternate with (something)

To appear repetitively with something else. That pattern is visually overwhelming; it's just a constant line of circles alternating with squares. I think it would look better if we alternated these gray tiles with the blue ones. No, don't alternate a bold shape and color like that with an equally bold shape and color.
See also: alternate
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

alternate between (someone and someone else)

 and alternate between something and something else
to choose or change between two persons or things alternately. The job will alternate between Gil and Ed. The maid will alternate between the first floor and the second floor.
See also: alternate, between

alternate with something

1. [for someone] to serve as a substitute for someone. I alternated with Fred as the lead in the school play. They asked Harry to alternate with Ron on the team.
2. [for something] to appear repetitively and regularly in a sequence with something else. (For instance, A alternates with B in the sequence ABABAB.) In this design the straight lines alternate with the circles. The red dots alternate with the blue ones.
See also: alternate
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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