Alternate / Alternative

As an adjective, “alternate” means “every other,” and it is usually used in relation to time or objects:

We were asked to focus on alternate lines of the figure. (Every other one.)

“Alternate” is also a verb, meaning “to switch back and forth in turns”:

The wet season alternates with the dry season.

“Alternative” denotes that a choice was made between at least two things:

He chose the polygon method as the best alternative for measuring compressible subsonic flow.