Alternative and Choice
An alternative is a serious choice which must be made-there is no getting out of it.
Choice implies more freedom, including no choice at all. For dessert you have a choice of ice cream or pie (which is not a life- or-death decision, and you can skip dessert altogether if neither choice appeals to you).
- The sailor’s alternatives were to stay in the sinking ship or jump into the shark infested waters. (He has to do one or the other, and it’s a frightening decision).
- You have no alternative about whether or not to work, but you do have a choice of jobs. (You can choose the job, but you cannot choose not to work.)
Alternative and alternate
These words are also confused.
Alternate means every second.
- We water the plants on alternate days.