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What is the difference between these two sentences? Do they mean the same?

an alternate method of payment

an alternative method of payment

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In many cases, including this one, 'alternate' and 'alternative' can be used to mean the same thing, where both describe a choice apart from what is first offered: an alternate viewpoint; an alternative suggestion.

There are situations where 'alternate' only is used - when we mean 'happening by turns', first one thing then the other, possibly repeated: in alternate weeks, I work in the office and at home.

Alternate vs alternative (Merriam-Webster)

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