Choose vs. Chose

Choose and chose can be very confusing, especially for people who speak English as a second language. So, to clear up the confusion, we will give the definitions of chose and choose, explain where these words came from, give tips on how to decide when to use choose vs. chose, and provide example sentences.

Choose (Simple Present Tense)

Choose means to pick something over something else, to select one item out of a group of items, or to like one thing more than other things. Choose is both the simple present tense and the simple future tense of the verb choose. The word choose comes from an Old English word ceosan, which means to select, decide or approve.

Chose (Simple Past Tense)

Chose is the past tense of choose. The definition of chose is to have picked one thing over another or to have selected something from a group of things. One synonym of chose is opt. 

A graphic of a girl holding a croissant and an apple with the captions: "Choose (pronounced chews) is to select on thing over the other. Chose (rhymes with toes) is the past tense of choose

Choose vs. Chose

If you are deciding whether to use chose or choose, remember that choose is an irregular verb. That means it does not follow the normal verb conjugation rules. Conjugation refers to the inflection of verbs depending on number, tense, mood, or voice. Regular verbs become past tense by adding -ed to the present tense. However, irregular verbs don’t follow this rule. So, the verb choose becomes chose in the past tense, not choosed. The past participle of chose is chosen. The third person, singular form of the verb is chooses

When you are deciding on choose vs. chose, pay attention to the spelling. Choose is spelled with two o’s and is pronounced chews. Choose is the present tense. Chose is spelled with one o and rhymes with toes. Chose is the past tense. If you need the past participle, then you’ll use Chosen plus an auxiliary verb like has or had. Choose, chose, and chosen are irregular verbs that do not follow a pattern, so you simply have to memorize them.

Choose vs. Chose: Choose is Simple Present Tense ( example: Barbara has to choose her outfit) whereas Chose is the Simple Past Tense (Barbara chose her outfit)


Dan was hesitant, and did not know which model to choose.

The board chose to proceed with the initial strategy.

Although it was difficult to choose between the two, Samantha chose the car with the better fuel efficiency.

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By Patrice Riley

Patrice Riley is the pen name of Dr. Deborah Riley. She is a retired English professor that enjoys grammar, literature, and all things writing.

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