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I understand that "elegir" and "escoger" both mean "to choose":

"Tienes que elegir": You have to choose.

"Tienes que escoger": You have to choose.

What are the differences between these two words? Do they have different connotations? Is one more common than the other?

2 Answers 2

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They can be used interchangeably for the most part, except that:

  • When you are talking about electing someone to an office, "elegir" is more commonly used.
  • This one is subtler. When you are talking about picking one or more among a set of things or people (other than at an election), "escoger" is preferred. Thus:

Le pregunté a cuál de los juegos quería jugar y escogió el parchís.

but

Le pregunté qué quería hacer y eligió ver la tele.

You could use "eligió" in my first example or "escogió" in the second one, and it wouldn't be wrong or even strange at all, it's just that "escogió" and "eligió", respectively, would be a little bit more common.

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  • Good. I'd only add that "escoger" is a little more formal.
    – Gustavson
    Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 21:44
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Both terms or words are used in Spanish quite frequently or they are recurrent, therefore, their use usually corresponds to a colloquial conversation, while the terms "elegir" and "escoger" can be used indistinctly since both have the same meaning and connotation (synonym)

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  • What do you mean by "their use usually corresponds to a colloquial conversation"? Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 20:22
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    Although the terms "escoger" and "elegir" can be used in the formal context, these terms are generally used with greater colloquialism, i.e. they are normally used in everyday conversation Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 22:52

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