Many students confuse these three nouns: “possibility,” “choice,” and “option.”
How do they differ?
If we say that something is a possibility, that means it is something that could be true. It is something that could happen. It is thinkable.
It’s cloudy today. Rain is a possibility. Will it rain? Maybe. Maybe not.
Josie is absent. Why? One possibility is that she is sick. Another is that she is on vacation. I’m not sure.
Choice is the noun form of the verb choose. It refers to the action of choosing.
An option is a selection within a category.
If someone offers you this chocolate sampler, you can choose to eat a chocolate or to refuse. My choice would be to eat one. Now I have some options to choose between: white, milk, or dark chocolate, nuts or no nuts? My choice depends on my tastes.
If you want to paint your house, you have many colors to choose from. You can choose a lighter or a darker shade of any color. Your choice depends on your taste.
You also have some options: Do you want water based or oil-based paint? Do you want matte, gloss, or high gloss? Your choice depends on whether you are painting inside or outside. It might depend on the style of your house.
A common type of test is called a multiple choice test. You have four options to choose among. You try make the best choice that you can.
A choice is a selection.
When you buy a new car, first you make a choice about which kind of car you want. After you choose your car, you have a number of options.
For example, cars come with a number of options for their interior: leather, cloth, vinyl.
Cars come with different options for their windows: tinted, clear, mirrored.
The windows can be operated electronically or manually.
You also have options for your payment: You can pay 100% down. You can pay monthly. You can pay with cash. You can use a credit card.
Even after my explanation, there is the possibility that you will still not understand. If that is true, you can make the choice to look at other web sites to explain it to you. Here are some options:
- Grammar Book.com – Choices vs. Options and Alternatives
- Wiki Diff – Option vs Choice
- Yahoo.com Answers – The Difference Between “Choice” and “Option”