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.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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