Grammar 101: Loose vs. Lose

by IELTS Australasia — February 21st, 2018

Loose and lose: These two words cause a lot of confusion and it’s well worth to spend a few minutes to know the difference between the two.

It’s very common for someone to use a word incorrectly as there are many words that sound similar but mean very different things. To avoid embarrassing blunders, we’ve come up with a list of “confusing” words and an explanation of how to correctly use them.

Click each topic to learn more about the differences between its and it’s.

Loose vs. Lose: the difference
Loose

Is an adjective: A word that describes a person, place, thing, event, substance or quality.

Lose

A verb: A word or phrase that describes an action, condition, or experience.

Loose vs. Lose: the definitions
Loose
  • Not firmly held or fastened in place.
  • Not fitting closely to the body (of clothes).
  • Not tightly controlled, or not exact.
  • Having low morals, sexually free.
  • To speak or express emotions very freely, especially in an uncontrolled way.
  • Not solid (watery)
Lose
  • To no longer have something because you do not know where it is.
  • To have something or someone taken away from you.
  • To stop feeling something.
  • To have less of something that you had before.
  • To get rid of something.
  • To fail to succeed in a game, competition.
Loose vs. Lose: the synonyms
Loose

Could also mean (synonyms): Baggy, easy, sloppy, free, hanging, slack, unhooked, detached, disconnected, free

Lose

Synonyms for ‘lose’ are: Drop, fail, forget, give up, suffer, waste, rob, miss, deplete, consume.

Loose vs. Lose: in a sentence
Loose
  • A floorboard has come loose in the dining room.
  • You’re not connected to the internet because there’s a loose connection in the plug.
  • After the meeting, I was shocked to find a few loose sheets of paper with confidential information lying around in the room.
  • Although the shoe was in my size, it was very loose.
  • The movie is a loose adaptation of the short story written by Danny.
Lose
  • Please lose the jacket as it makes you look so much older.
  • My doctor said my health will improve if I lose weight.
  • I lose two hours every morning stuck in traffic.
  • I think it’s best to end our conversation before I lose my temper.
  • We will have to lose half of our employees if this deal doesn’t go through.

Reference: Cambridge Dictionary