Lose vs Loose: What’s the Difference?

by Jan 27, 2019English Grammar Tips

Shafayet Ali Mithun

Community Artist and Mentor (Bangladesh)

  • Leadership Strengths (Level 24)
  • Community Mentor (Level 3)
  • Community Poerty Artist (Level 2)

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Stop listening to people telling you who you should be.

And stop listening to the people who are telling you –

you’re not good enough to do the things that you want to do.

Thank you.

Shafayet Ali
The best English grammar tips on “Loose”

Is it not tight or gone? loose tooth.


loosen (V), loosened (past & past participle), loose (Adj)

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

For Example:

  • Sophie’s tooth is loose. (not securely attached)
  • She is loosening the tooth with her finger.
  • Your dog is loose. (free, not tied up)
  • 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)
  • LOOSE — other meanings

eg: The chickens run loose in the yard.


eg: He prefers to wear loose shirts.



  • Vegetables grow well in loose soil.
  • He carries loose change in his pocket.
  • We make loose leaf tea rather than using tea bags.

eg:  He has a loose explanation, arrangement, agreement.


ESCAPE, RUN AWAYeg: The horse will break loose from its enclosure if it is not closed well.

RELAX, GET A LITTLE WILDeg: He walked onto the dance floor and cut loose. (intentionally lose control)

HAVE NOTHING TO DOeg: He doesn’t want to be at loose ends. He doesn’t know where to go.

UNTRUSTWORTHY, UNPREDICTABLEeg: He was a loose cannon¹ on the battlefield.

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

ALLOW EMOTIONS TO ESCAPEeg: The wolf let loose a howl. / He picks up a guitar and lets loose.

HAVE NO CARES OR WORRIESeg: He is footloose and fancy-free.

UNTIEeg: Can you loosen this knot?

RELAXeg: Loosen up!

RELAX, RELEASE A LITTLEeg: The government loosened its hold on the protesters.

loose cannon (expression.) 

eg: someone who cannot be trusted because they say or do things you do not want them to

SPEAK MORE EASILYeg: A little alcohol loosened his tongue.

SPEND MORE EASILYeg: A better economy will allow people to loosen their wallets.

STRETCH MORE EASILYeg: 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.

No matter what race we are in this world,

we are all the same color inside.

Thank you.

Shafayet Ali
The best English grammar tips on “Lose”

Lose, lose his mind?


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

For Example:

  • 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 )

LOSE — other meanings

NOT WINeg: He lost the election, game, match, competition by a landslide. (a lot

MISPLACESeg: She loses her keys quite often. And then she finds them again later

ALLOW TO ESCAPEeg:She will lose her dog if she doesn’t close the gate.

MISS AN OPPORTUNTITYeg: We lost a chance to see him before he left.

DECREASEeg: Most people lose weight when they have the flu. (weight, points, money, credit)

DIEeg: He lost his father recently to a heart attack. “I’m sorry for your loss.”

STOP HAVING AN ABILITYeg: After he turned ninety, he lost his sight, hearing, voice, balance, sense of smell, etc.

STOP HAVING AN CONTROLeg: After he turned ninety, he lost his temper, his control, his mind, his head, his cool. He lost it.

STOP HAVING AN EMOTIONeg: He must not lose his confidence, interest, hope, respect, heart, self-esteem, etc.

STOP HAVING A SENSEeg: While walking in the forest, he lost his sense of direction, sense of time, etc. He lost his way.

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

STOP HAVING A SPECIAL SKILLeg: This food is terrible. The chef has lost his touch.

STOP HAVING ENOUGH TIMEeg: He lost time in the race because he had to repair a flat tire.

GET RID OFeg: Lose him. (an unwanted person) Lose that attitude! (unwanted character)


STOP KNOWING THE LOCATION OR WELL-BEINGeg: We lose track of friends after we move away. We lose touch with friends after we move away.

HAVE NO RISK, NO CHANCE OF LOSINGeg: Ask him for a raise. You have nothing to lose. He needs you.

STOP RECEIVING RESPECTeg: They settled the disagreement so that neither person would lose face.

STOP REASONING CLEARLYeg: Think carefully. You don’t want to lose sight of the situation. (forget an important fact or goal)

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

DECREASES SLEEP WELL, INSOMNIAeg: He loses sleep because he worries.

BECOME CRAZY OR CONFUSEDeg: He’s lost it. (It refers to his sanity or peacefully state of mind)

lose (V)
eg: He will probably lose his keys.

lost (N)eg: The loss of his keys was a problem.

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