Loose vs Lose

The words loose and lose are mixed up in writing; for some reason, many people write loose when they really mean lose. But there’s no reason to lose your mind worrying about this, just lose the extra o!

Loose

Loose is an adjective, the opposite of tight or contained.

My shoes are loose

I have a loose tooth

There’s a dog running loose in the street

 
Lose

Lose is a verb that means to suffer the loss of, to miss.

I win! You lose!

Don’t lose your keys

I never lose bets

 
The Bottom Line

Simple carelessness leads people to write loose when they mean lose. Just remember that lose has one o, and loose has two. Start with loose, lose an o, and what do you get? Lose!

9 comments for “Loose vs Lose

  1. Quizzie
    10 February 2014 at 9:45 am

    Funny, I’ve just come accross an official letter by the South African Government where they made the same mistake (to loose).

    • Matthew
      4 May 2014 at 9:27 am

      Coming from a South African, I’m not surprised. The lack of proper education in my country is disastrous.

  2. Stan
    9 April 2014 at 10:32 am

    Thank you for clearing this up. Your examples are great.

  3. Morne
    28 May 2014 at 12:47 pm

    And ironically enough, it is the current SA government (ANC) that ensured that the education system went backwards …

  4. Holly
    4 June 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Don’t feel bad SA guys….it is just as bad in the US.

  5. Chris
    3 August 2014 at 9:05 am

    this seems to be a more recent mistake im wondering if there is some major cause of it (more recent as in a huge % of people making the same mistake)

  6. sydneymbs@gmail.com
    29 August 2014 at 1:39 am

    I’m from South Africa, too. And I went to rural area high school, but I know the difference between loose and lose. I think they probably made a mistake, so let’s not use political agenda.

  7. tgold
    6 September 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Loose is also used as an adverb in: To play fast and loose.

  8. Lee
    13 November 2014 at 2:13 pm

    You can use the word “lost” to clear up the confusion. Lose and lost are related in their definition and both have one “o”

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