Confused Words: Choose, Chose

How to Chose When There Is a Choice Between Choose and Chose

by Owen Fourie

If you spotted the error in the subtitle, congratulations!

Correctly, it should be

How to Choose When There Is a Choice Between Choose and Chose

Here are two words that are often confused in writing and in speech. Let’s clear up the confusion by means of the following tabulation:

Helping you to make the correct choice


Part of Speech






present/ future

  • I choose this apple, so you can take the other one.

  • I know you will choose to sit on that chair and not on the other one.





  • I am choosing this apple today.





  • I chose a red apple yesterday.



verb / adjective


  • They had chosen to sit there until they were called for tea.

  • Eating apples used to be their chosen pastime.


[“-oice,” as in “voice”]

noun / adjective

  • It was their choice to spend their time eating apples.

  • Eating apples is a choice pastime. Or is it?

Memory tricks

Try this to remember which word to choose:

  • Imagine yourself at this very moment looking at two exquisite watches and not knowing which one to choose, and you are saying, “Oo! Which one shall I choose?” The present and the future tenses take the word with two o’s—choose.
  • Imagine yourself reflecting on the choice you made yesterday. You’re a bit disappointed with your choice, and you are thinking, “O! Maybe, I chose the wrong watch.” The past tense takes the word with one ochose.
  • Don’t try to associate choose/chose with loose/lose. Each of these words has a different pronunciation and any attempt at association would add to the confusion.

Many tenses

There are many tenses that are not covered in the above tabulation. The following tabulation will show you this to some extent:

Choosing correctly amongst many tenses


Choose Choosing Chose Chosen


you choose


you chose


you will choose

Present continuous

you are choosing

Past continuous

you were choosing

Future continuous

you will be choosing

Present perfect

you have chosen

Past perfect

you had chosen

Future perfect

you will have chosen

Present perfect continuous

you have been choosing

Past perfect continuous

you had been choosing

Future perfect continuous

you will have been choosing

Note the solitariness of chose in the above tabulation. Its one use is in the past tense.

You know, now, how to make the correct choice when it comes to choosing between chose and choose, and I have to rethink my choice to eat so many apples because I have an aching stomach!


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