The distinction can be mae by the following tests:
(i) Dip a strip of blue litmus separately in both alcohol and carboxylic acid taken in two glass tubes. The colour will change to red in the tube containing carboxylic acid and not in the tube which contains alcohol.
(ii) Add a small amount of solid sodium hydrogen carbonate `(NaHCO_(3))` in both the tubes. A brisk effervescence accompanied by bubbles will be noticed in the tube containing carboxylic acid and not in the tube containing alcohol.