Thursday, August 07, 2014

Lose vs. Loose

Lose and loose are liable to be confused.

Lose is a verb. it means not able to find, not have anymore, not win or to mislay.
  • Susan loses her pen at least once a week.
  • Our cricket team hasn't lost a game all year.
  • Sam is always losing his car keys.
  • She always loses one sock.
Loose is an adjective. It means not tight or not fastened.
  • My new shoes are loose.
  • His pants are loose
  • He has a loose tooth.
  • He was wearing a loose shirt.
Loose can also act like a verb meaning to undo as in loose the knot of the rope or set free as in loose the pack of dogs.
  • I always lose my handkerchief (correct) --> a lost handkerchief.
  • I always loose my handkerchief (incorrect) --> handkerchief is less tight 
  • I like my hair loose and flowing (correct) --> loosened hair.
  • I like my hair lose and flowing (incorrect) --> hair loss/ lost hair
  • I feel I am going to lose my job (correct) --> not have my job anymore.
  • I feel I am going to loose my job (incorrect) --> absurd meaning. How can I set free my job or unfasten it.
Note: Loose and loosen are related but not lose. 
Loosen means to make less tight as in Emily has put on weight and so she has had to loosen her belt.