If you’re confused about the difference between ‘choose’ vs. ‘chose,’ look no further. This article will help you differentiate between the two and understand when to use which.
In short, ‘choose’ can be the infinitive form of the verb ‘to choose,’ as well as the present indefinite or the future. ‘Chose’ is the past indefinite.
‘Choose’ and ‘chose’ are not homophones like ‘your’ and ‘you’re.’ They may look similar, but they are pronounced differently.
‘Choose’ has a longer sound due to the double ‘o’. It rhymes with ‘cruise’ or ‘blues.’
‘Chose’ has a shorter sound and rhymes with ‘nose’ or ‘toes.’
They are both conjugations of the same verb.
We’ll start with ‘choose,’ which can assume many roles in a sentence, depending on the context.
‘Choose’ can be the infinite form of the verb ‘to choose.’ That means it’s in the non-conjugated form. It’s synonymous with ‘pick,’ ‘select,’ or ‘decide’ between two or more options.
Here are some example sentences that use ‘choose’ this way:
What if you had to choose between pizza and mac ’n’ cheese?
She knew she had to choose her words carefully.
They’re stuck on which location to choose for their wedding.
‘Choose’ can also be the present indefinite of the verb ‘to choose.’ You’ll use it to talk about a choice made in the present moment.
I choose to be happy.
We can’t possibly choose between the two of you.
Which country did she choose to do her year abroad in?
Note that due to verb conjugation conventions, in the third person singular, you would need to add an 's' to 'choose' to form the present indefinite. Like this:
He told me he chooses her.
The committee always chooses the winner.
What if she chooses wrong?
You can also use ‘choose’ in an imperative sentence, or in other words, to give instructions to someone. As such:
Choose your next move wisely.
And there’s a final tense the verb ‘choose’ can take on, and that’s the future tense. But first, you must combine it with the auxiliary verb ‘will.’ Take a look at the following examples to see how:
I will choose when I’m ready.
Who do you think he will choose to be the next vice president?
They will choose five of you to join their team.
As for the verb 'chose,' there's only really one instance when you should use it.
'Chose' is the past indefinite tense of the verb ‘to choose.’ So you use it when you want to talk about a choice that’s already been made.
I was a little tired, so I chose to stay home after all.
She doesn’t understand why he chose her.
He chose not to share the details of their meeting last night.
You might be wondering why we don’t say ‘choosed’ since the usual way to get a verb’s past indefinite is to add ‘-ed’ at the end. That’s because ‘choose’ is an irregular verb, so the usual rules don’t apply. Check out our article on the past indefinite tense to learn more.
Let’s summarize. Use ‘chose’ if talking about a choice made in the past, and ‘choose’ when using the infinitive, present indefinite, imperative, or future tense (when paired with ‘will’).
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