To shoot something is to take aim and try to achieve a goal. This verb is commonly used with weapons, sports that use an object for scoring points, and cameras.

simplepastpast participle

When used as a noun, the word becomes "shot." It’s important to recognize the difference between the noun and the past tense form of the verb because they both look and sound the same: shot.

  • He’s shooting a gun.
  • He’s taking a shot.


shoot a gun
  • She shot an arrow.
  • She took a shot at a target.

 (These sentences are in the past tense.)

shoot at a target
  • Basketball players try to shoot a basketball through a hoop.
  • They take shots at the hoop.
  • You can shoot pictures with a camera.
  • You can get some good shots with a digital camera.
shoot pictures
  • A model poses during a photo shoot.

 (In this sentence, the word "shoot" is a noun. A photo shoot is a period of time during which a photographer takes pictures.)

photo shoot
  • He has shot a lot of film today.
  • He has gotten some really good shots.

(These sentences are in the present perfect tense.)

shoot video

Use the word "shot" as a noun when a doctor or a nurse gives an injection:

nurseShe’s going to give a shot to a patient.

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Originally published April 11, 2013. Updated on April 30, 2017.