Unit 68: Choices and Decisions

Unit 68 - Choices and Decisions

You know the world of English is a fun and exciting place to be. I’m so glad you could join me for another lesson.

So here I am once again at my computer, with another English lesson to prepare. Which subject should I talk about this time? There are so many choices, so many things to choose from, it’s really hard to decide.
Wait a minute! I’ve got it! Oh yes that’s a good subject. Okay, let’s get to work!

The choices you make today and tomorrow will decide life’s journey on the path you follow. The choices you make like the throw of the dice will decide if your journey is unpleasant or nice.

Hi everybody, this is Misterduncan in England, how are you today? Are you okay? I hope so! Are you happy? I hope so!

In this lesson we are going to take a look at two things, that in each person’s life, may have to be done once or many times on a daily basis.
They are actions that can shape not only your day, but in some cases, your entire life.
In today’s lesson I will talk about making… Choices and Decisions


The word choice has more than one meaning. It’s normally used as a noun. ‘Choice’ can relate to what is on offer. A selection of things offered or made available to you. You can select something from that choice. You choose or select – from the choice.

The word ‘choice’ can also define what you have chosen. The choice you have made. The thing you have chosen is your choice. That is the thing you have chosen.
A choice can made from a selection or variety of actual items, or from a list of possible actions.

The word ‘choice’ can also be an adjective. In this sense it means something of high or superior quality. ‘A choice- cut of meat’ means that the meat is of good quality.

The word decision relates to the final choice or result of deciding something. The decision can be about anything. The result of your choice is the decision.
We can also use decision when talking about the outcome of a trial. In law the decision is referred to as the verdict.

In law, all decisions, choices and actions made are the responsibility of the person who made them. If you are of sound mind, then you will have to accept the punishment that fits the crime.
The conclusion of any choice is seen as a decision. Of course, if you cannot make a choice or decision, then we say that you are…’undecided’. You are unsure of what to choose. Sometimes making a decision can be a very confusing thing in deed.

There are many ways of expressing a decision or making a choice: You take your pick, you come to a decision, you reach a conclusion, you give your verdict, you make a choice, you pick one out, you make a selection.
A choice can be described as a selection or variety. You pick from a selection or choose from a variety. So choice can be what is on offer or the thing you select. The past tense of ‘choose’ is ‘chose’ and the item you choose has been ‘chosen’.
When we deciding something…you reach a decision or you come to a decision, you have decided.

There are so many choices and decisions to be made in life. However there is one choice that you never have to make. Unless of course you decide to change it later.
Yes of course I’m talking about your name. The first choice in your life is made by someone else. Duncan is the name chosen for me by my parents. I had no say in the matter. The decision was made for me. I like my name. Especially when I found out that the name Duncan originated in Scotland and means ‘brave warrior’.
Of course in the Shakespeare play ‘Macbeth’ the character King Duncan is killed by the scheming Macbeth. I had better watch my back!

Sometimes it takes ages to make a decision or choice. In fact the longer you take making it, then the more difficult it becomes. Some choices and decisions in life are simple and straightforward, while others need to be considered carefully. Having said that, even a decision over something small and trivial can sometimes take a long time to reach.
Making a choice or decision of any sort might leave you feeling bewildered, confused, perplexed, stuck and in a fix.

There is a saying in English that goes- ‘You have made your bed, now you must lie in it’. This means that if you decide to do something foolish or bad to- or with someone, then you must be willing to live with the consequences of that action and accept the punishment for doing it.

Maybe a bad choice or decision you’ve made has inadvertently harmed someone. You did not mean to hurt or harm that person. However you must still live with the outcome, whether you intended for it to happen or not.

When do we use…which?  And when do we say…what?
These two words often cause confusion, even for native English speakers. If the choice is ‘what’, then that means that there are many things to choose from. For example- ‘What do you want to eat?’ ‘What shall we do today?’ ‘What will buy in town?’

If there is a selection to choose from, then you can use ‘which’. For example – ‘Which meal on the menu would you like?’ ‘There are two movies on TV tonight, which one do you want to watch? Which table shall we sit at?
So ‘what’ refers to a general list. ‘what is your favorite animal?’ While ‘which’ refers to a short list or a particular selection. ‘Which dress do you like?’
Life is full of choices and decisions. Many of them are trivial. What to eat, which shoes to wear, what to watch on TV, how to dress. Some decisions are big and crucial. What to study, which career path to take, where to live, who to marry.
We all have choices to make and each one of those decisions will move us a little further along life’s path.

There will of course be times when you make the wrong choice or a bad decision, but that is part of life. Nothing is certain in this world, except maybe one thing…that is, at some point in your life you will have to take a chance and spin that wheel of fate.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s lesson and I look forward to teaching you again, real soon!
Good luck with all the decisions and choices that you have made, or are going to make. I hope they are turn out to be the right ones.

This is Misterduncan in England saying thank you for watching me teaching you…and of course…ta- ta for now.

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Sentence explanation:

1.If you are of sound mind, then you will have to accept the punishment that fits the crime.

Sound: khỏe mạnh, lành lặn, bình thường. Mind: trí óc, trí tuệ

Punishment: hình phạt

Fit: phù hợp, xứng đáng. Crime: tội phạm, tội danh

Ở đây dùng câu điều kiện loại 1: If + S + V (HTĐ), S + V (TLĐ)

=> Nếu đầu óc bạn hoàn toàn bình thường, thì bạn phải chấp nhận hình phạt thích đáng với tội danh của mình.

2. Having said that, even a decision over something small and trivial can sometimes take a long time to reach

Having said that: dù vậy, dù đã nói như thế. He forgets most things, but having said that, he always remembers my birthday.(Anh ấy chẳng bao giờ nhớ được gì cả, nhưng dù sao anh ấy cũng luôn nhớ tới sinh nhật tôi.)

Even: thậm chí. Decision (n): quyết định. Make decision :đưa ra quyết định.

Trivial: nhỏ bé, lặt vặt, không quan trọng. Take a long time: Mất một thời gian dài

Reach: đạt được, hoàn thành.

=> Dù vậy, thậm chí quyết định một vấn đề nhỏ nhặt, vớ vẩn cũng có thể mất nhiều thời gian.

3. Duncan is the name chosen for me by my parents. I had no say in the matter. The decision was made for me.

Say: ở đây nó có nghĩa là quyền, cơ hội để làm gì. I had no say in this matter (Tôi không có quyền trong vấn đề này)

Decision is made for me: đang dùng thể bị động. Nếu nói chủ động: Someone (my parents) made the decision for me: Ai đó (bố mẹ) đã đưa ra quyết định này cho tôi. Hay nói cách khác: quyết định này đã được đưa ra cho tôi.

=>Duncan là cái tên do bố mẹ tôi đặt cho tôi. Tôi không có quyền hay cơ hội để quyết định vấn đề này. Việc này đã được quyết định cho tôi.



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