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When To Use ‘chose’ vs ‘choose’? A Detailed Explanation

by shreyasi datta

The words ‘Chose’ and ‘choose’ are often misspelled while writing because the meaning of both words is the same – to pick out or select something out of two or more available options. Moreover, there is only a slight difference in the spelling of these two words. Nevertheless, the two words cannot be used interchangeably, and doing so can change the whole meaning of the sentence.

In this article, we will explain in detail the difference between ‘chose’ vs. ‘choose’ and how to use them correctly in your writing and speaking. So keep reading to know when to use ‘chose’ or ‘choose’.

‘Chose’ vs ‘Choose’: What Is The Difference  

The difference between ‘choose’ vs. ‘chose’ is very simple –  both words have the same meaning—they’re just different tense forms of the same verb.

When To Use Chose  

Chose is the past tense form of the verb choose, which means “to select something from a group of options or to decide on a course of action.” You should use chose when you are talking about an action that happened in the past. For example:

  • She chose the blue dress for the party.
  • They chose to stay home instead of going out.
  • He chose his words carefully.

You should use it with auxiliary verbs like ‘have’, ‘has’, ‘had’, ‘be’, or ‘been’ to form perfect or passive tenses. For example:

  • She has chosen a different career path.
  • They had chosen the best candidate for the job.
  • He was chosen as the captain of the team.

When To Use Choose  

Choose is the present tense form of the verb choose. You should use choose when you are talking about an action that is happening in the present or will happen in the future. For example:

  • You can choose any flavor of ice cream you want.
  • I will choose a book from the library later.
  • They are choosing a new leader for their team

‘Choose’ can be followed by different prepositions depending on the context and meaning. For example:

  • Choose from: To select one or more items from a set of options, we use this phrase For example: You can choose from three different colors.
  • Choose between: We use this phrase to decide between two or more alternatives. For example: You have to choose between studying and playing.
  • Choose to: This phrase is used to decide to do something voluntarily or deliberately. For example: He chose to ignore the advice.

‘Choose’ can also be followed by different verb forms depending on the reporting verb and the sentence structure. For example:

  • Choose + infinitive: to report an intention, a promise, or an advice. For example: She promised to choose the best gift for him.
  • Choose + -ing: to report a preference or a suggestion. For example: He suggested choosing a different route.
  • Choose + that clause: to report a decision or a claim. For example: They decided that they would choose the first option.

Some More Example Sentences  

Here are a few examples of sentences with ‘Choose’

  • The political party chose a leader”.
  • “You should choose a job in relation to your talents and interests”.
  • “If we accept those categories, we feel constrained to choose”.
  • “They will be able to choose their own leaders in democratic elections”.
  • “She had to choose between the two men in her life”.
  • “Students may play any instrument they choose”.
  • “He had been chosen for dismissal because he was not secretly opposed to the government”.
  • “I can track, but I won’t fight an Other, if that madman chooses to fight one”.
  • “I need to choose an easy topic for my essay, because the one I chose last time was too difficult”.

Examples of Sentences With ‘Chose’

  • “There has to be another reason you chose me.”
  • “She chose her words carefully”.
  • “He chose Poland, and invaded it one month later.”
  • “I chose to spend a year off from school, and I think it was the right choice.”
  • “I knew which book they chose before they even told me.”
  • “Zarah was sure she chose the right home as soon as she walked in the door.”
  • “On both occasions he chose the wrong movies, for he was not a regular moviegoer.”

Synonyms And Words Similar To Chose vs. Choose  

Here are some synonyms and words similar to Chose vs. Choose:

  • Select.
  • Pick.
  • Prefer.
  • Take.
  • Elect.
  • Name.
  • Designate.

Here are some examples of sentences with synonyms and words similar to chose/choose.

  • “He was selected to play for Australia at the age of only 18”.
  • “I selected the best staff available”.
  • “Please help me pick out a hat that matches my new dress.”
  • “She picked a flower for her mother.”
  • “The judges will select the best from this year’s crop of first novels.”
  • “The earlier train would be my preferred option”.
  • “I prefer savory to sweet.”
  • “I prefer coffee to tea.”
  • “I’d prefer a sweater with a polo neck.”
  • “After six months, he elected to take early retirement.”
  • “First-year students may elect French, Spanish, or German.”

Tips for remembering when to use chose vs. choose  

One simple way to remember when to use ‘choose’ over ‘chose’ is that the word ‘choose’ has two “O’s” just like soon – so write ‘choose’ if something is going to happen ‘soon’.

The word ‘choose’ has a slightly longer oo sound and is pronounced similarly to shoes. On the other hand, ‘chose’ has a shorter o sound, and it’s pronounced similar to words like close or dose.

Another way to remember when to use ‘chose’ vs ‘choose’ is by replacing the word with a regular verb like Pick or Select and checking if the sentence is logical. Let’s look at the following sentence –

  • Rahul was selected to be the captain of the cricket team.

Picked is a past tense verb, so we know that this action has already taken place. Now lets replace the word with ‘Choose’

  • Rahul was choose to be the captain of the cricket team.

Do you think that makes sense? No, right! Now try to replace this with ‘Chosen’

  • Rahul was chosen to be the captain of the cricket team.

Now it makes sense because ‘Chosen’ should be used in past tense.

Lastly, the best way to remember when to use ‘choose’ and when to apply ‘chose’ is by determining when the action is taking place. Is it happening right now or maybe it will take place sometime in the future? Then write ‘choose.’ Has the action already happened? Then ‘chose’ is appropriate.


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