Lose vs. Loose: What’s the Difference?

The word “lose” is a verb that can be used to discuss the act of ceasing to retain something. It can also mean that the subject is deprived of something. This verb can also mean to fail to win something. In some cases, people use lose to describe the act of shaking a person off of their trail. The term lose is always a verb that describes an action.

The word “loose” is an adjective in most cases, but it can also be used as a verb. The adjective form of loose refers to something as not being tight. People use the term to describe clothing, ropes and sometimes people (in a derogatory sense). The verb form of the word “loose” means to release or set something free. The term is used quite frequently when discussing biblical concepts and freeing oneself from an addiction.

Examples of the Word Lose

These are some examples of the word lose in sentences. You’ll gain a better understanding of lose vs loose by reviewing them:

  1. I won’t be able to pay my rent if I lose my job.
  2. My boyfriend has asked me to marry him because he doesn’t want to lose me.
  3. I really need to buy a giant keychain so that I don’t lose my keys again.
  4. I play hard in basketball because I don’t like to lose.

Examples of the Word Loose

  1. We always thought Jen was a big girl because she used to wear loose clothing.
  2. The wheel fell off the vehicle because the lugnut was loose.
  3. You may want to wait until you’re married before you have relations with a man. That way, people won’t think you’re loose.
  4. I pray every day for my higher power to loose me from this addiction.

Tricks to Remember Lose vs Loose

Sometimes, it’s necessary to think of little tricks to keep the definitions of two words in your mind correctly. Many people use the term “loose as a goose” to remember the difference between lose and loose. This phrase works wonders for two reasons. For one, goose has two O letters the same way that loose does. Therefore, remembering the phrase will help you keep the two-O loose word in your mind visually. When you think of the phrase, remember that a goose is calm and relaxed and that the term loose refers to people and items that are too relaxed as opposed to too tight.

Another way you can think of it is to think about how the term “lose” has “lost” one of its Os. Then you will remember that the word “lose” refers to someone becoming deficient or deprived of something.

Also, you can think about how the word loose is a longer word than the word lose, and thus, it stretches further. That can help you visualize the term loose in the context of something not being tight.

There are many ways to remember the difference between two words. Use your creativity with the words and have fun.


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