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I need to make a list of ways how kids can complete a task at a lesson (different ways of execution) but I'm not sure how to call it correctly: Exercise execution options? Exercise performance otions? Exercise completion alternatives? All of these sound somewhat incorrect to me. It should look like this: Exercise execution options: 1. ........ 2. ........ 3. ........ etc What is the best way to express this idea?

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  • Does "exercise" here refer to physical activity or just work items?
    – Tashus
    Oct 15 '18 at 20:48
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If you are writing something for the kids, I would suggest, “Ways of doing the exercise”.

If you are writing about it, for co-workers, then… it gets complicated.

“{Something} alternatives” is fine, but “Execution” is not quite the right word. It is okay; only people like me would think twice about it. If you want exactly the right word, however… .

• A gymnast [an athlete] gets points for “execution” — how well they did the routine.

• To me, the word “method” is only correctly used as in, for example, “One method is to divide both sides of the equation by x.” Conversely, I (personally) think it is wrong to use it as a recipe heading. That is… if mixing the flour into the water turns out badly, then mixing the water into the flour is not a “method”; it is just how you do it. Possibly this is just me; possibly it is because most people do not care about English. (Similarly for your exercise… the different ways of doing it are not “methods”.)

I like “Exercise alternatives”. However, that leaves some ambiguity about whether this means different exercises or different ways of doing the exercise. Again, this is fine — people will work it out from the list you give.

For clarity, some people would say, “Alternative Exercise Methods”, but I would not (as above).

In the end, if the question is about strictly correct English, I would have to say to go with “Ways of doing the exercise”. The problem is that some (most?) people might notice that you have not used big words.

In that case…
1 “Exercise alternatives” if you are happy for the reader to resolve the ambiguity from the context,
2 I (given my view of “method”) would go with “Execution alternatives”, because people know what you mean, and
3 failing option 1, most other people would go with “Exercise method alternatives”, for clarity. [Technically, “methods” shoud be plural, as above.]

(“Alternatives” are different ways of doing the same thing, or different things among which to choose. An “option” is… optional — you can do without altogether, or not do any of the options. For example, for a meal, you might have lamb, beef or chicken (or something vegetarian) as alternatives, and salad, dessert and coffee as options.)

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Execution is the act of carrying out a program, rather than a method for it Execute has the second meaning of "kill someone as punishment". It is probably best avoided here.

Instead, you just have some "Alternative methods". You could use this phrase, or you could just say "Options: 1.... 2....", or "Alternatives..." The context makes it clear.

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