‘Choose' vs. 'Chose': What's the Difference?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on November 26, 2022

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.

What is the Difference Between ‘Choose’ Vs. ‘Chose’?

‘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.

When Should You Use ‘Choose?’ Vs. 'Chose'?

We’ll start with ‘choose,’ which can assume many roles in a sentence, depending on the context.

The Infinitive Form ‘Choose’

‘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.

The Present Indefinite ‘Choose’

‘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?

The Imperative ‘Choose’

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.

The Future Tense ‘Will Choose’

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.

When Should You Use “Chose’ Vs. 'Choose'?

As for the verb 'chose,' there's only really one instance when you should use it.

The Past Indefinite ‘Chose’

'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.

Why Isn’t It ‘Choosed’?

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.

Concluding Thoughts on ‘Choose’ Vs. ‘Chose’

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’).

The best way to get over any confusion with words in English is to keep practicing and reading high-quality books and articles. Head to our blog now to learn about other confusing words and much more.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

Add new comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WritingTips.org Newsletter
Receive information on
new articles posted, important topics, and tips.
Join Now
We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.