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1) They are physically separated.

2) They are physically separate.

I thought 1) was right(definitely!!!!) but my one of my American professors says

he would rather say as 2).

At first, I bought that because he's the native speaker and I'm NOT.

but when I really think about it, I still think 1) is right.

What do you think??
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Hi,

1) They are physically separated. Well, you'd say this is you meant that he is on one side of the river and she is on the other. They are physically separated by the river.

2) They are physically separate. 'Separate' is an adjective. This means that they are apart, by themselves, in the sense of not related. eg Cancer and tuberculosis are not related diseases. They are physically separate.

So, it depends what you mean. But normally, we mean #2, so I agree with your professor. This is what we commonly say.

Best wishes, Clive
Comments  
Anonymous1) They are physically separated.

2) They are physically separate.

I thought 1) was right(definitely!!!!) but my one of my American professors says

he would rather say as 2).

At first, I bought that because he's the native speaker and I'm NOT.

but when I really think about it, I still think 1) is right.

What do you think??

1) They are physically separated. (Normally passive, i.e.separated by something/someone, but "separated" could also be an adjective there.)

2) They are physically separate. ("Separated" is an adjective there.)

So, if you see ·1 as a passive form, the focus is upon the action "to separate". If, on the other hand you see it as a form containing an adjective, the focus is upon their present state. In the latter reading, it would be the same as #2. In that case, both would be correct, but I feel #2 is more common.