Good news—choose and chose are pretty easy to keep separate. Unlike the distinction between loose and lose, which are two completely different words, choose and chose are two different forms of the same verb (whose present tense form means “to select”).
In this article, you’ll learn when to use choose, chose, and other forms like choosing and chosen. You’ll also learn why “choosed” is not used as a past tense form (spoiler: it’s because choose is an irregular verb). Read on to learn how to always choose the right form!
Choose is the present tense form. Chose is the past tense of choose.
Is it choose or chose?
Choose means “to pick from several options,” and it is the present tense form of the verb (the present tense form chooses is used after certain third person subjects, such as she or the committee). The past tense of choose is chose—the form used when the action took place in the past (as opposed to the present or the future). So, for example, you might say I need to choose an easy topic for my essay, because the one I chose last time was too difficult.
Why is it chose and not choosed?
In English, the most common way of creating the past tense form of verbs is by adding -ed or -d to the end of the present tense form of the verb. For example, the past tense of the verb walk is walked, and the past tense of the verb bake is baked. But some verbs are called irregular verbs because their different tenses are indicated in other ways, such as by changing a vowel, as is the case for sing / sang / sung.
Choose is an irregular verb, and it also has two other forms: choosing (the continuous tense form), as in They are currently choosing a winner, and chosen (the past participle form, which is often preceded by a form of the helping verbs be or have), as in They have chosen a winner.
How to use choose vs. chose
Remember, choose is present tense and chose is past tense. If the action is in the present, choose choose. If the action is in the past, use chose.
Examples of choose and chose used in a sentence
To get familiar with the difference, take a look at these examples of choose and chose in the kinds of sentences you’ll commonly encounter (and use) them in.
- There are too many options to choose from.
- Please choose a color from this list.
- I chose to spend a year off from school, and I think it was the right choice.
- He said he chose poorly because he was rushed.
- I chose my major based on my interests at the time, but they’ve changed, so I’m going to choose a new one.
Take the quiz: Do you know when to use choose and chose?
Now that you’ve reviewed the difference between the two, take our quiz to see how well you do.