I'm doing research paper and I want to write a sentence like

We wanted to compare two groups isolated.

A colleague told me to write isolate, without d. I just checked, this is an actual adjective. (merriam-webster says: being alone, synonyms: solitary, isolated)

Do people still use this word?

Which word should I use in the above example?

When would I use isolate over isolated in general?

  • 'Isolated' is the past tense, and past participle of the verb 'to isolate'. You need to refer to 'two isolated groups'. – WS2 Oct 21 '14 at 17:37
  • We wanted to compare the two groups in isolation/separately – Armen Ծիրունյան Oct 21 '14 at 17:46
  • We want to compare two isolated groups. (In English generally adjectives precede the noun). – SrJoven Oct 21 '14 at 17:51

"Isolate" is sometimes used (especially in science) to refer to the isolated group. So, in your example you might say:

We wanted to compare two isolated groups. The first isolate we put in the blue room, the second isolate in the green room.

Here "isolate" refers individually to each of the groups.

See Wiktionary: isolate

Noun isolate (plural isolates): Something that has been isolated.

| improve this answer | |
  • Yes, but what about the adjective isolate? – user2740 Oct 22 '14 at 16:02

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