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What’s the Past Tense of Choose? Chose or Chosen?

Choose (pronounced like chews) is in the present. Chose is the simple past tense, and chosen is the past participle.

The verb to choose in text conversation. Made by Gflex on Canva.
The verb to choose in text conversation. By Gflex on Canva.

What’s the past tense of “choose”?

To choose (which sounds like chews, and rhymes with shoes) is the verb form of the noun choice.

  • Chose is the simple past tense of choose,

  • Chosen (rhymes with frozen) is the past participle. 

The verb choose is an irregular verb with two past verb forms, chose and chosen, neither of which end in -ed.

Verb forms of choose

simpleI chooseI choseI will choose
continuousI am choosingI was choosingI will be choosing
perfectI have chosenI had chosenI will have rung
perfect continuousI have been choosingI had been choosingI will have been choosing
12 verb tenses of ‘choose‘.

1. To choose is the present tense: Why did you choose this restaurant?

2. Chooses is third-person present singular: If he chooses the wrong answer, he will be eliminated.

3. Choosing is the present participle: She’s choosing to live a life on the fringes of society.

4. Chose is the simple past: She chose an academic career.

5. Will choose is in the future tense: She will have to choose between her potential career options.

6. Chosen is the past participle: Damian couldn’t have chosen a better guard.

What’s the definition of “choice”?

As a matter of course, let’s define subject topics first: the word choice, importantly, is a noun, and is defined as “to select from a number of possibilities; pick by preference: ‘the choice is yours to make‘.

That’s the distinction here: choice is a noun, and functions as such in sentences; whereas choose is the verb form of the noun, choice. Chose is the simple past tense of choose, and chosen is the past participle.

What’s the difference between chose and chosen?

Compare the following sentences:

I chose the pasta. (simple past)

By the time I arrived at the restaurant, they had already chosen a table. (past perfect)

The first sentence describes an action that is completed, or something that took place entirely in the past. That’s the past simple tense. The second sentence, which uses the past participle ‘chosen‘, forms a different tense in English called the past perfect tense, also known as pluperfect.

To form the past perfect tense, we use the past participle + ‘had‘. The past perfect tense shows when an action took place before another event or action in the past. We use the past perfect when we want to clarify the order in which past events took place. So, in sum, we use ‘chosen‘ when we want to form the past perfect tense or in modal verb constructions (i.e., I should have chosen something different).

Examples of choose (present tense)

1. Why did you choose this restaurant?

2. I couldn’t choose between the number of options before me.

3. Which should I choose, pasta or pizza?

4. They will be able to choose their own leaders in democratic elections.

5. I don’t choose to keep such company.

Examples of chose (past tense) in context

1. The contestant chose what was behind door number three.

2. We were given a choice between coconuts and starvation, and we chose coconuts.

3. Gary could have used this time to prepare for the race, but he chose to fool around instead.

4. She chose an academic career.

5. We chose a new cooker from the gas showroom.

Examples of chosen (past participle) in context

1. I thought I was marrying a man who had chosen a lifestyle compatible with mine.

2. I have chosen this paper because I want the spray of violets in the corner to tell you of my grateful love.

3. Right now he was wondering if he had chosen the right occupation.

4. He couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate song.

5. Damian couldn’t have chosen a better guard.

Synonyms of choose

Like with all synonyms, make sure to use the appropriate word given the context in which it’s being used.

  • adopt
  • appoint
  • determine
  • elect
  • embrace
  • favour
  • espouse
  • commit oneself
  • take up
  • make up one’s mind
  • settle upon something
  • make a decision

The origin of choice

From etymology online on choice (n.):

Old English ceosan “choose, seek out, select from two or more; decide, test, taste, try; accept, approve”.


In review: the past tense of choose

To choose is present tense, chose is the past tense, and chosen is the past participle; (pairs with auxiliary verbs to create the perfect and progressive tenses).

Learn more about verbs


  1. Merriam-Webster, Definition of choice.
  2. Etymology online, Origin of choice.
  3. English Grammar and Composition, P.C. Wren and Martin, participles.

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