The Ins and Outs of 'Choisir': Making Choices in French

May 15th, 2023 - Vera

Language serves as a medium for expressing our thoughts, emotions, and choices. This is true for French, a language renowned for its beauty and subtlety. The French verb ‘choisir’ allows us to express choices, decisions, and preferences. In English, ‘choisir’ translates to ‘to choose’. This article provides an in-depth exploration of ‘choisir’, including its conjugation, usage, and role in various expressions and idioms.

‘Choisir’ at a Glance

‘Choisir’ is a regular -ir verb, which means it follows a set pattern for conjugation. This makes it relatively easy to remember in various tenses and moods. Here’s the present tense conjugation:

The past participle of ‘choisir’ is ‘choisi’, which is used with the auxiliary verb ‘avoir’ to form compound tenses such as the passé composé (e.g., ‘j’ai choisi’ means ‘I have chosen’ or ‘I chose’).

Basic Usage of ‘Choisir’

‘Choisir’ is used to express the act of choosing or picking. Here are a few examples:

In these examples, ‘choisir’ is followed by a direct object (cette robe) or an infinitive verb (partir).

‘Choisir’ in Different Tenses

Like all French verbs, ‘choisir’ is conjugated differently depending on the tense. Here are the conjugations for the most commonly used tenses:

Advanced Uses of ‘Choisir’

While ‘choisir’ is commonly used to express making a choice, it can also be used in more nuanced ways. For example, it can be used to express a preference:

In questions, ‘choisir’ can ask for someone’s preference or decision:

‘Choisir’ can also be used in the negative form to express not making a choice:

Common Expressions with ‘Choisir’

‘Choisir’ is also used in several French expressions and idioms. Here are a few examples:

Mastering ‘Choisir’

To fully grasp ‘choisir’ and its various nuances, consider these strategies:

  1. Regular Practice: Regularly conjugating and using ‘choisir’ in sentences will help reinforce your memory of its conjugation and usage.

  2. Contextual Usage: Try to use ‘choisir’ in context as much as possible. This will help you understand how ‘choisir’ is used in everyday French.

  3. Learn Expressions: Familiarize yourself with common expressions that use ‘choisir.’ These idioms will enrich your French vocabulary and make you sound more like a native speaker.

  4. Engage with French Media: Reading books, watching movies, or listening to music in French can provide exposure to ‘choisir’ in real-world contexts. This will enhance your understanding of the verb and improve your overall language proficiency.


The verb ‘choisir’ is essential for expressing choices, decisions, and preferences in French. Though it’s a regular -ir verb with predictable conjugation patterns, ‘choisir’ is powerful in its versatility and frequent usage in French communication. From expressing simple choices to forming complex expressions, ‘choisir’ helps articulate nuances of decision-making in the French language.

Understanding ‘choisir’ and its uses will not only expand your French vocabulary but also enhance your ability to express preferences and make decisions in French. Whether you’re at a restaurant choosing a meal, deciding which movie to watch, or expressing more abstract choices in life, ‘choisir’ will be an essential tool in your French language arsenal.

In your journey of mastering French, remember that learning a language is not just about memorizing words and their meanings. It’s about understanding the culture, the nuances, and the emotions that the language conveys. So, embrace the beauty of French, immerse yourself in its culture, and let the language guide you in expressing your thoughts, emotions, and of course, your choices.

Bonne chance avec votre apprentissage du français! (Good luck with your French learning!)

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