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I see the phrase "may opt" on a lot of medical documents as in "the patient may opt to choose from the following..." and I am wondering if this is redundant. Why not just use "the patient may choose from the following..."

Is there a small nuance that I am missing? Perhaps the addition of "opt" means the patient has the choice to not choose anything at all?

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    Adding the opt means that he doesn't have to choose if he doesn't want to. It means that the patient may choose to choose from the following, but may also choose not to choose from the following. It is also equivalent to "The patient may or may not choose..." – MorganFR Aug 23 '16 at 13:03
  • @MorganFR What you want to tell exists in the medical documents as "... choose to opt out" which means patients may choose to drop out. Therefore, what you have told is beside the point for the question. – Onat Dergin Aug 23 '16 at 13:15
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    @OnatDergin I think MorganFR addresses the question perfectly. "opt out" is a different usage and I don't know why you've brought it up here. – Max Williams Aug 23 '16 at 13:19
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    @OnatDergin Your "opt out" option would be even more redundant: "The patient may opt to choose from the following, or may opt out." Consider "The patient may opt to choose between rice and vegetables for dinner, or may opt to let the nurse decide." He decides to decide which one he wants, or decides to not decide at all. – MorganFR Aug 23 '16 at 13:20
  • "opt to" = "choose to". "opt in" = "choose to take part". "opt out" = "choose to not take part". There's not a simple word-for-word translation for "opt" in all cases - "choose in" isn't idiomatic for example. – Max Williams Aug 23 '16 at 13:23
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Opt and choose are synonymous in the example. So it's the same as:

the patient may choose to choose from the following...

This indicates that the patient may also choose not to choose from those options, or indeed from any of the alternative groups of options given (to opt out).

The diner may opt to choose a dish from the Italian menu or may opt to choose a dish from the Chinese menu or may opt to leave the restaurant.

In the OP's example, the use of both "opt" and "choose" avoids an ugly repetition of a verb.

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