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Lose or Loose?

Average: 3.8 (24 votes)

We see these two words misspelled ALL the time especially on Twitter and Facebook.

Let's take a look at the correct use of these words.


Lose: is a present tense verb. It has two meanings:

i) To have lost something. You no longer know where it is:

"Don't lose your bag. Be careful where you put it."

ii) To be defeated:

"I always lose when I play tennis against my brother."


The past form of both meanings is lost.

"I lost my bag!"

"I lost another tennis match."


The noun form of both meanings is loss.

"The things I regret most about the loss of my bag, is that my phone was in it."

"I don't think I can face another loss against my brother. I'm not playing him again."


Loose is an adjective. It means the opposite of tight. When something is loose it is not fixed in place.

"My young daughter has a loose tooth. It will fall out soon."

"My diet must be working because my jeans are now loose. I should start wearing a belt."

Decide which word is needed to complete these sentences:

  • 1 - Be careful you don't ___ my book.

  • 2 - I think we are ___. We should ask someone for directions.

  • 3 - I prefer my t-shirts to be a little ___. I don't like them too tight.

  • 4 - My favourite soccer team ___ again yesterday.

  • 5 - The company has been running at a ___ for a few years,

  • 6 - There's an office in the train station where they keep all the ___ items.

  • 7 - Take a map so you don't ___ your way.

  • 8 - That wall doesn't look safe. All those bricks are ___.

  • 9 - I'm always ___ my sunglasses. I should be more careful.

  • 10 - Can I try on another pair of shoes? These are too ___.