lose vs loose: how to know the difference

Are you confused about the use of lose and loose? Read this piece:

lose

The word lose (pronounced /lu:z/) is a verb that means ‘to no longer have something or be in control of it’, e.g. a thing, feeling, time, game, etc. The past tense and past participle form is ‘lost’.

Examples:

  1. He predicted that they’ll lose the game even before it started.
  2. I don’t want to lose you, please stay with me.
  3. Digital Academy lost over a million naira last year.
  4. We told him the story and he’s losing his mind.

loose

This is pronounced as /lu:s/. It can be used as an adjective, a verb or a noun.

adjective: not held firmly together, not exact, sexually free

Examples:

  1. She wore loose clothing throughout the exercise.
  2. That’s quite a loose interpretation of the movie.

verb: to release, to make something loose, to relax one’s grip, to express oneself in an uncontrolled manner

The past tense and past participle form is ‘loosed’.

Examples:

  1. She loosed her hair as she walked through the crowd.
  2. Just loose the rope and free the goat.

noun: usually occurs in ‘on the loose’ (meaning ‘having escaped from somewhere or a confined place’) and ‘the loose’ (rugby: loose play).

Examples:

  1. Everyone got scared because the assailant was on the loose.
  2. He’ll perform well in the loose.

Now that you know…

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