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    #21

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    No, not really. Only the second.
    Tarheel in comment #13 said I could say this if I want to convey the meaning of the general ability/possibility to choose. Maybe I got him wrong.

    So, it would be incorrect to say, "As a human being, you have a choice." I can't say, "As a human being, you have choice" either. What options do I have then?
    Last edited by Alexey86; 23-Jan-2020 at 00:31.

  2. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #22

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    I can't account for Tarheel's answer, I'm afraid. Perhaps you misunderstood what he meant.

    As a human being, you have freedom of choice.

    Notice that the noun phrase freedom of choice is uncountable because you're speaking about choice in very general terms.

    Alternatively:

    As a human being, you are free to choose ...
    As a human being, you have freedom to choose ...

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    #23

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    Notice that the noun phrase freedom of choice is uncountable because you're speaking about choice in very general terms.
    Should I use "the" if I want to contrast two types of freedom, for example, "Today I want to speak about (the) freedom of choice, not (the) freedom of speech"?

  4. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #24

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    You could, yes, but it's not necessary to do so. The of choice bit already specifies what kind of freedom you mean.

    I'm afraid the sentence of mine in #22 you quoted was not what I had intended to say. Please allow me to correct it now:

    Notice that the noun phrase choice is uncountable because you're speaking about choice in very general terms.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 23-Jan-2020 at 00:48.

  5. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #25

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    I think people usually say "freedom of religion" or "freedom of speech" without an article.
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    #26

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    Lexico provides the following examples (https://www.lexico.com/definition/choice):

    1) We are concerned about the people and their ability to have choice.
    2) Of course, people will still debate whether, if women had real choice, they might choose sex work.
    3) In reality, it is the schools that choose, and parental choice becomes almost meaningless.


    The bolded parts can be substituted by "their ability to choose" (1), "had the real right to choose" (2), and "the parental right/ability to choose" (3), respectively.

    It seems I'm missing the crucial point of your explanations, because I can't see why "As a human being, you have choice" and "You think everything in our life is predetermined, but I believe we have choice" are incorrect. The last parts could be substituted by "have the ability to choose" as well.

    If it's just a matter of naturalness, I'm ready to take it for granted. But if it's ungrammatical, I'm perplexed.


    Suppose someone complains, "I want to give up smoking, but I can't", to which the other replies, "There's always a choice."

    teechar said,
    That reply would not be considered natural in English.
    What reply would be more natural if I want to use "choice" or "to choose"?
    Last edited by Alexey86; 23-Jan-2020 at 13:30.

  7. teechar's Avatar
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    #27

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    Lexico provides the following examples (https://www.lexico.com/definition/choice):

    1) We are concerned about the people and their ability to have choice.
    That sentence does not sound great to me. Just because a sentence appears in a dictionary, it does not mean that it is well written.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post

    ...
    because I can't see why "As a human being, you have choice" and "You think that everything in our life is predetermined, but I believe we have choice" are incorrect.
    To me "have choice" can nearly always be rephrased as "have a choice" which is much better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    What reply would be more natural if I want to use "choice" or "to choose"?

    - I want to give up smoking, but I can't.
    - Of course you can! The matter is entirely in your hands. You (do) have a choice.
    or
    - Of course you can! It's up to you to choose not to smoke.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 23-Jan-2020 at 14:42. Reason: Fixed typo

  8. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #28

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    It seems I'm missing the crucial point of your explanations, because I can't see why "As a human being, you have choice" and "You think everything in our life is predetermined, but I believe we have choice" are incorrect.
    Who said I believe we have choice is incorrect? Grammatically and logically, it is correct. If anybody said it wasn't, they mean that it doesn't sound natural, or that there are better ways of expressing it.

    If it's just a matter of naturalness, I'm ready to take it for granted. But if it's ungrammatical, I'm perplexed.
    Well, there's no need to be perplexed because I think you understand correctly.

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    #29

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    teechar said,
    To me "have choice" can nearly always be rephrased as "have a choice" which is much better.
    Leaving aside (un)naturalness, don't you think it will affect the meaning a bit?

    "As a human being, you have choice (the ability to choose)/have a choice (in any given situation you can make a choice)."

    Or, is this difference insignificant to you?

  10. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #30

    Re: There is always a choice (countability and article usage).

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    Leaving aside (un)naturalness, don't you think it would affect the meaning a bit?

    "As a human being, you have choice (the ability to choose)/have a choice (in any given situation you can make a choice)."

    Or, is this difference insignificant to you?
    Lacking context, it's hard for me to see a meaningful difference between the two.

    Have you heard of the law of diminishing returns?
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