Today’s word from the academic word list
The main forms of this word are opt, option, optional and optionally. It is a useful set of words when you are writing about choices and suggesting proposals for action. The words also have more technical meanings in finance and education.
Prepositions and grammatical constructions
Two very common verbal structures used with option are:
Not all students have the option of choosing which modules to study
Not every student has the option to choose which module to study
You will also find this structure:
The government need to weigh the options on/for regulating advertising.
Some common verbs with option
These verbs are close synonyms – meaning “think about”
It is important to consider all the options before coming to a decision.
We need to explore the different options so as to make an informed decision as possible.
The first step is to evaluate which options are in fact practical and cost effective.
Some common phrases
It may be sensible to leave the options open for the time being and make a final decision later.
While not imposing any fines may seem to be the easy option, it will only create more difficulties in the future.
In practical terms, the government has not option but to introduce legislation to control Co2 emissions. (= must)
One opposite of optional is compulsory and the word is used to describe courses (mostly at university) that students can choose to do:
Many students choose to study a foreign language as one of their options.
Universities frequently offer several optional courses in their programmes.