Loose / Lose

Is it not tight or gone?

loose tooth
 

 

Loose vs. Lose

LOOSE

The adjective loose is used for something that is (1) not tied or fastened in place; (2) not attached to anything. 

Sophie's tooth is loose (not securely attached)

She is loosening the tooth with her finger.   

Your dog is loose (free)

The football got loose, so the other team took possession of it.  (free from our possession)

Your clothes are loose (too large)

You are too anxious.  Hang loose (expression – relax)

LOSE

The verb lose is used when we stop having (no longer have) something, or we gradually have less of a particular attitude, quality, ability etc.

Sophie will lose her tooth in a day or so.  (become unattached)

You might lose your dog if you don't keep him inside.  (allow to runaway)

Our team needs to play better or we will lose the game (fail to win)

Have you lost weight (reduced)

You will lose your temper if you continue this way. (expression – be unable to control )
 

 

loosen  (adj. – loose, v. – loosen, loosened)   lose (adj. – lost, v. – lose, lost)
fastened (adj.) – not well connected or attached

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loose

Adjective

wolf cry
 

 

LOOSE — other meanings

MEANING SENTENCE

FREE, ESCAPED, UNATTACHED

The chickens run loose in the yard.

NOT TIGHT

He prefers to wear loose shirts.

RANDOM ORDER, NOT TIGHTLY PACKED TOGETHER

Vegetables grow well in loose soil.

He carries loose change in his pocket.

We make loose leaf tea rather than using tea bags.

APPROXIMATE, INEXACT

He has a loose explanation, arrangement, agreement.    

  EXPRESSION

ESCAPE, RUN AWAY

The horse will break loose from its enclosure if it is not closed well.

RELAX, GET A LITTLE WILD

He walked onto the dance floor and cut loose. (intentionally lose control)

HAVE NOTHING TO DO

He doesn't want to be at loose ends. He doesn't know where to go.

UNTRUSTWORTHY, UNPREDICTABLE

He was a loose cannon on the battle field. (someone who cannot be trusted because they say or do things you do not want them to)

BE RELAXED

Just go in there and hang loose. (stay calm, do not worry)

ALLOW EMOTIONS TO ESCAPE

The wolf let loose a howl.   /  He picks up a guitar and lets loose.

HAVE NO CARES OR WORRIES

He is foot loose and fancy free.     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loosen

Verb

knot
 

 

LOOSEN  — other meanings

MEANING SENTENCE

UNTIE

Can you loosen this knot?

RELAX

Loosen up!

RELAX, RELEASE A LITTLE

The government loosened its hold on the protesters.
 

  EXPRESSION

SPEAK MORE EASILY

A little alcohol loosened his tongue.

SPEND MORE EASILY

A better economy will allow people to loosen their wallets.

STRETCH MORE EASILY

A few warm-up exercises will loosen your muscles.
 

An expression is two or more words that combine to form a new meaning. That is, each word does not keep its literal meaning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lose

Verb

lose his mind

 

 

 

LOSE —other meanings 

MEANING SENTENCE

NOT WIN

He lost the election, game, match, competition by a landslide.  (a lot)

MISPLACES

She loses her keys quite often.  She finds them again later.

ALLOW TO ESCAPE

She will lose her dog if she doesn't close the gate.

MISS AN OPPORTUNTITY

We lost a chance to see him before his left.

DECREASE WEIGHT

Most people lose weight when they have the flu.

DIE

He lost his father recently to a heart attack.  "I'm sorry for your loss."

STOP HAVING AN ABILITY

After he turned ninety, he lost his sight, hearing, voice, balance, sense of smell, etc.

STOP HAVING AN CONTROL

After he turned ninety, he lost his temper, his control, his mind, his head, his cool.  He lost it.

STOP HAVING AN EMOTION

He must not lose his confidence, interest, hope, respect, heart, etc.

STOP HAVING A SENSE

While walking in the forest, he lost his sense of direction, sense of time, etc.  He lost his way.

STOP HAVING SOMETHING

He will lose his license if he is texting while driving.  (Br-EN licence) 

STOP HAVING A SPECIAL SKILL

This food is terrible.  The chef has lost his touch.

STOP HAVING ENOUGH TIME

He lost time in the race because he had to repair a flat tire.  

GET RID OF

Lose him.  (an unwanted person)  Lose the attitude! (unwanted character)
 

  EXPRESSION

STOP KNOWING THE LOCATION OR WELL-BEING

We lose track of friends after we move away.  We lose touch with friends after we move away.

HAVE NO RISK, NO CHANCE OF LOSING

Ask him for a raise.  You have nothing to lose.  He needs you.

STOP RECEIVING RESPECT

They settled the disagreement so that neither person would lose face.

STOP REASONING CLEARLY

Think carefully.  You don't want to lose sight of the situation. (forget an important fact or goal)

STOP REASONING CLEARLY

Our team lost to / lost out to a team with an even worse record. (forget an important fact or goal)

NOT SLEEP WELL, INSOMNIA

He loses sleep because he worries. 

BECOME CRAZY OR CONFUSED

He's lost it(It refers to his sanity or peacefully state of mind)
 

lose (v.)  He will probably lose his keys.

lost (n.) – The loss of his keys was a problem.

keys

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

ERROR SOLUTION

Where did you loose your keys? 
I don't know. No one ever sets out to loose something. It just happens.  

Where did you lose your keys?

Can you loose the ties on my shoes?

Can you loosen the ties on my shoes?  (verb form)
He loosened the ties on my shoes.  (past form) 

We losed the game with a score of 17 to 12.    

We lost  the game with a score of 17 to 12.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Loose?

 

 

Correct or Incorrect

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 1-10" button at the bottom, or click the "Check" button to the left  as you go.

 

1.
loose jeansHe will loose his pants if he doesn't pull them up.

   

2.
shrugShe likes to wear loose clothes.

   

3.
shoelacesCan you loose the shoe laces a little more? They're too tight.

   

4.
lost ratDid you loose something?

   

5.
cats everywhereThey have kittens that are running loose everywhere.

   

6.
weightA person can loose weight through diet and exercise.

   

7.
puzzle piecesThere are some loose puzzle pieces on the table.

   

8.
lose his mindHe's working too hard. In fact, he's loosing it.

   

9.
lost keysWhere did I loose my keys?

   

10.
tighten beltHe is loosing his belt.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Loose or Lose?

Sam and  best friend
 

 

Correct or Incorrect?

  1. Select a response correct or incorrect.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 11-20" button at the bottom, or click the "Check" button to the left  as you go.

 

11-14
 
These walks always
15-19.
his sense of direction.