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Are these correct?

1: They made a choice WHAT to wear

2: They made a choice WHETHER to go to Italy or the UK.

Or should we write "They made a choice ABOUT what to wear" and "they made a choice ABOUT whether to go to Italy or the UK".

Thank you

1

They made a choice of what to wear.

See Ngram. "a choice of what ..." is more common than "a choice about what", and much more common than "a choice what". For "whether", all of these options are closer in frequency.

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WHAT

They [made a choice] // [what to wear]. I would question whether this is correct although in spoken English it would be ok. Subject + verb + [interrogative + to-infinitive] is the usual pattern. The phrase "what to wear" acts like the object. In this case you would use "to choose" rather than "to make a choice": "They chose what to wear."

Other examples:

  • We decided where to go
  • She wondered who to message next
  • I know how to drive

They [made a choice about] // [what to wear]. This is better. The [what to wear] construction is like a noun phrase

  • They made a choice about // eating pizza or pasta
  • They made a choice about // the cat
  • She made a choice about // who to speak to

WHETHER

They [made] [a choice] // [whether] [to go] [to Italy] // [or] [to the UK]. This is correct. This sentence answers the question: "Did they make a choice?" "Whether"/"or" are two conjunctions expressing alternatives similiar to "either/or", "both/and". Compare:

  • I haven't decided whether to have the salad or the steak.
  • I will be here whether you stay or go.

They made a choice about whether to go... answers the question ABOUT WHAT did they make a choice? It's also correct. The answer is "whether to go to Italy or the UK". The whole clause introduced by "whether" acts like a noun phrase. Compare:

  • I have often thought about whether to get married or to stay single
  • Sartre wrote a book on whether being or nothingness is more fundamental
  • Just on the first one, note you can often turn these singe word verbs into verb phrases with "hot" verbs like make, have, do; which still act like simple verbs. Eg choose ---> make a choice, decide ----> make a decision, know ---> have a knowledge of. Hence: They made a choice what to wear. We made a decision where to go. I have knowledge of how to drive. These are possible alternatives. – Daniel Ruben May 26 '17 at 15:59

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