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Lose vs Loose

Lose vs Loose, meaning, sentences, examples, difference

Good vs Well

By Zak Hall - English Grammar

“You lose!” or “You loose!”, which would you choose?

This is one of the most frustrating mistakes made by English native speakers and just shows you how much difference one tiny letter can make. The difference between “lose” and “loose” could not be starker.

For one thing, “lose” is a verb and “loose” is a noun. This means that it should be very clear as to when you need to use each one.

Let’s go through the differences along with some examples to make sure you never make this mistake again.


The word “to lose” is a verb that expresses no longer having something. You could lose possession of something or lose something figuratively such as your train of thought or an idea. It may also be used when you can’t find something.

Normally, the spelling mistake comes because “lose” sounds like it should have a double “O”. The long “O” sound leads people to write the word in the way it should sound rather than with the proper spelling.

In case you are not already clear, here are some examples of when you should use “lose”:

I’m going to lose my mind if he carries on speaking!

The business will lose six million dollars this year.

Lose the attitude!


This adjective is used to describe something that is the opposite of tight. This could refer to a knot, such as when you tie your shoelaces. It could also be figurative when you are discussing something that is uncertain or unfinished.

Again this is an adjective, so if you are describing something, this is the word you need. If you are trying to use a verb then you should be using “lose”.

Here are some examples of when you would use loose:

Can you tie this a little tighter? It’s loose.

I have a loose idea of what we’re doing tomorrow, but things could change.

He has loose standards if he thinks that’s how the project should be done.

With the words being so dissimilar in terms of type, you can be sure to pick the correct one each and every time.

Remember, if you’re describing something you need double “O”. If you are denoting an action that someone or something is performing, you need just one single “O”.

As always, practice often and make fewer mistakes.

Create practice sentences for yourself to cement your understanding of the two words. It is a basic mistake to make and should definitely be eliminated in order to speak professional or advanced English.

Another way you may make this mistake is inadvertently. Autocorrect can be blamed for so many errors in writing these days, as well as corrections. It is very important to check your work before sending something for submission or as a final copy.

There is a strange trend with native speakers making this mistake. It is a horrible thing to see in writing and indeed peculiar as the words sound different when pronounced. Be better than this and hold your writing to the highest standard possible.