Difference Between Adapt and Adopt

Main Difference – Adapt vs. Adopt 

Though adapt and adopt share similar spellings and pronunciations, they do not mean the same. Adapt is taking something and changing it to suit one’s requirements while adopt is taking something and accepting it as one’s own . This is the main difference between adapt and adopt.

Adapt – Meaning and Usage

Adapt is a verb that can be used both transitively and intransitively. When used as a transitive verb, Adapt means to make something suitable for a new purpose or use. To adapt something is to modify it to suit your requirements. Adapt also refers to the act of altering something to make it suitable for filming or broadcasting. The following sentences explain the usage of this verb.

The classrooms have to be adapted for modern teaching practices.

This film is adapted from an Indian folktale.

They adapted the place to suit their needs.

Adapt can be used as an intransitive verb as well. Here, it means to adjust oneself to a new conditions or  situation.

With the change of management, the employees had to quickly adapt to the change.

He found it difficult to adapt to the new culture.

Children soon adapted to the new culture; it was the elders who had trouble adapting.

The child quickly adapted to the new culture.

The child quickly adapted to the new culture.

Adopt – Meaning and Usage

In general, Adopt means to take and accept something as one’s own. Adopt is derived from the Latin adoptare meaning to take by choice or choose by oneself.  Adopt can be used both as a transitive and intransitive verb, but it is mostly used as a transitive verb.The following sentences show how the meaning of the verb changes according to different contexts.

Bringing up another’s child as one’s own:

Jacques and Marie wanted to adopt a baby from Vietnam.

In some countries, same-sex couples are allowed to adopt children.

Choose and move to another city or place (as permanent residence):

He adopted this new country with ease and adapted to the new culture.

His parents moved to France in the late forties and adopted it as their own.

Choose to take up or follow a concept, an idea or a course of action:

Finally, they decided to adopt the method suggested by Pierre.

Following this incident, the school decided to adopt strict and rigorous policies.

Assume an attitude or position

If you adopt a positive attitude, they’ll definitely accept you.

He adopted a patronizing tone.

Many institutes adopt this position on employee welfare.Difference Between Adapt and Adopt - adop

Difference Between Adapt and Adopt


Adapt is to modify something to suit your requirements.

Adopt is to take up or accept something (as your own.)

Verb Type

Adapt is used as both transitive and intransitive verbs.

Adopt is mainly used with transitive verbs.


Thre is  a slight difference in the meaning of Adapt between the transitive verb and the intransitive verb.

There is no change in the meaning of Adopt.Difference Between Adapt and Adopt - info

Image Courtesy:

“Adoption 2” by Hitsuji Kinno at English Wikipedia.(CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

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