Lose vs. loose …which is right?

Short Answer

Loose: able to be removed, not tight

Lose: to misplace something, to be deprived of something

English Grammar - Lose vs. Loose

Long Answer

Many people, while perusing the newspaper or a book, do not know the difference between lose and loose. Common mistake? We think so.

Loose is most often used as an adjective and means “not tightly attached” or “easily set free”; for example, her shoes were too big for her feet and were therefore very loose.

Lose, on the other hand, is a verb and means “to no longer have something”; for example, her shoes were too big for her feet, causing her to lose them every time she started running.

If it helps, use both words in the same sentence to help keep their meanings disparate: because her shoes were too big and loose, she was always losing them.

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