Let's say one is in a dilemma i.e. a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives: enter image description here

I was wondering which collocation is not a fixed one in natural and idiomatic English to define such a situation;

Collocations of the word "choice":

  1. That's a difficult choice.
  2. That's a hard choice.
  3. That's a tough choice.

Collocations of the word "decision":

  1. That's a difficult decision.
  2. That's a hard decision.
  3. That's a tough deciaion.

To me, they all work with slight shades of meaning. Please kindly correct me if I'm mistaken.

PS. I know there is some semantic nuance between the words and the listed combinations. I just want to make sure whether they all work together or not.

  • 2
    They all work, exactly as you said, with slight differences in nuance and in tone. "Difficult decision" is for example formal, while "tough choice" is casual. "Hard decision" sounds slightly awkward to me but it does work. – TypeIA Nov 16 '20 at 18:30
  • To me a "hard decision" would suggest a harsh decision, for example strictly to a rule with no leeway. – Weather Vane Nov 16 '20 at 19:07

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