Choose vs. Chose

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Choose vs. Chose

Choose and Chose have one letter difference in spelling but they differ greatly in meaning. They express the act of picking one option from a few in Present and Past Indefinite Tenses respectively.


When there is a handful of options available, and someone has to pick one, they “choose” it. The word “Choose” is the base form and the present indefinite form of the verb itself. 

  • You never choose anything red on Christmas. 

“Choose” here indicates the universal habit of someone which means that the sentence in the Present Indefinite Tense. 

  • You never chose anything red on Christmas. 

Since, the word “Chose” does not match the tense requirement, using it would make the sentence incorrect.


“Chose” on the other hand, is the past indefinite tense of the verb “Choose” 

  • Last month, I chose to pay for your bike and already regret my decision. 

Since the incident clearly happened in the past which we can tell from the use of the timestamp “Last month”, the sentence needed the past indefinite tense of the verb “Choose” and so, “Chose” is used instead. 

  • Last month, I choose to pay for your bike and already regret my decision. 

Using “Choose” would compromise the integrity of the sentence based on the correct use of tenses.

Why “Chose”?

The usage of the suffix -ed or -d at the end of the base or present indefinite form of Regular Verbs. But “Choose” is an Irregular Verb and that’s why there is an irregularity when it comes to tense change. Because it is not a regular verb, “Choosed” is the wrong past indefinite tense to use in this case while “Chose” is the correct form of the base verb “Choose” and there is no better way than to just memorize it. 

Difference Between Choose vs. Chose

They are not homophones which is often the case with confusing pairs of words. But “Choose” and “Chose’ almost sound like homophones since u and o sounds are very close, phonetically speaking. Without paying close attention to the tense of the timespan of the incidents mentioned in the conversation, it would be really hard to tell which one of these is being used in speech. 

In writing too, one has to look for the tense or really pay attention to the spelling to tell them apart since there is only an “o” that can separate these two. For natives and regular users it may not be very hard as “Choose” is a common verb to be used in the English language across all tenses. 

Key Points Choose Chose
Pronunciation (IPA) /tʃuːz/ /tʃoʊz/ or, /tʃəʊz/
Tense Present Indefinite Tense Past Indefinite Tense
In a Sentence I choose to be happy. He chose to skip the conversation and dig in yesterday.

Which One to Use?

By learning all the forms of the verb “Choose” side-by-side, one can reduce this confusion. When you know all the tenses of this base verb - Choose (Present Indefinite), Chose (Past Indefinite) and Chosen (Past Participle), you can carefully choose to use the correct one based on the tense you are using.


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