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What’s the Difference Between “Chose” and “Choose”?

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Are you scratching your head in confusion, not sure if you should write “choose” or “chose”? Don’t worry. It’s a common problem, and one that we’ll clarify for you with simple explanations and examples that will help you make the right choice.

White text over orange background reads "Choose vs Chose"
One of these words is in the present tense and the other is in the past tense.
Choose vs. Chose: Quick Summary

To choose is a verb that means “to pick or select something from two or more options based on judgment or preference.” Chose is the past tense of to choose.

  • I usually choose whichever outfit is the most comfortable.
  • Yesterday, I chose the outfit that was the most comfortable.

You’re not alone in your confusion between choose and chose. After all, the pronunciation and the extra “o” are the only things that set these words apart.

So, how do you use them correctly?

Below, we’ll go over their definitions and synonyms, and provide you with a definitive guide on their usage, so you’ll never find yourself asking, “What’s the difference between choose and choose?”

Let’s begin!

“Choose” Meaning

To choose something is “to select or decide on something or someone from a range of options or possibilities based on your preference or judgment.” You can pick from two, three, or more choices.

Can you please choose a restaurant? I’m starving!
I always seem to choose incorrectly, so could you please pick a design for me?
How am I supposed to choose between Colorado and Oregon? Both sound lovely!

Choose is a verb—an action verb, to be exact. Verbs have different tenses and forms. Tenses indicate the timing of an action (or state), whether it happened in the past, present, or future.

Choose is in the present tense, meaning it’s referring to an action that’s happening now or one that happens habitually.

I choose the senior dog.
I normally choose dogs that most people overlook.

The form of a verb changes in response to additional information, including tense, mood, and aspect. Choose stands as the infinitive of the verb. In other words, it’s the simplest form, with no conjugations or changes.

How To Pronounce “Choose”

Choose /tʃuːz/ is pronounced like chooz. Even better, it’s similar to the sound emitted by a train: choo choo.

“Choose” Synonyms

If it makes it easier for you, there are a few synonyms you can use in place of choose, including select, pick, and decide.

I will have to choose between these three dresses.


I will have to select between these three dresses.
I will have to pick between these three dresses.
I will have to decide between these three dresses.

“Chose” Meaning

Chose is the simple past tense of choose. Put differently, chose refers to the action of having selected or decided on something from a range of options or possibilities, but in the past.

Remember: choose is the present tense form, while chose is the past tense form.

I chose the restaurant that was closest to us because I was starving.
He chose a design that discreetly includes the company’s name.
I chose Oregon because I’ve heard great things about the forests there.

How To Pronounce “Chose”

Chose /tʃəʊz/ is pronounced as chohz, and it rhymes with toes.

“Chose” Synonyms

The synonyms for chose are the same as the synonyms for choose, but in the past tense: selected, picked, and decided.

I chose the blue dress.


I selected the blue dress.
I picked the blue dress.
I decided on the blue dress.

Choosing Between “Choose” and “Chose” Can Be Easy

When it comes to deciding between these two similar words, all you have to remember is that choose is the present tense and infinitive form of the verb, while chose is the past tense of the word.

Sure, that seems easy enough to remember until you actually have to pick a word, and your brain ends up drawing a blank. If it helps, try to keep this simple mnemonic in mind:

Choose is for now, present and vast.
Chose is for those things in the past.

Yes, we know, we know. That was a great little poem there. But what if we told you there’s an even more straightforward way to use these words? Because there is! LanguageTool—an intelligent writing assistant—can help you with choose and chose, and any other set of commonly confused words, like loose and lose, and many more.

Try it for yourself today and start writing like a pro!

Graphic shows side-by-side difference between "choose" and "chose."
“Choose” is in the present-tense, whereas “chose” is in the simple past-tense form.

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