Common mistake lose (loose)

Common Mistake: Lose (Loose)

One commonly confused pair of words in the English language is "lose" and "loose." These words have different meanings and are used in different contexts. It's essential to understand the difference between them to avoid confusion and mistakes in your writing.


"Lose" is a verb that means to be deprived of something or to fail to keep possession of it. It is often used when something or someone becomes inaccessible or goes missing. Here are some examples:

  • I will lose my job if I keep making mistakes.
  • She fears losing her keys and being locked out.
  • The team lost the game despite their hard work.


"Loose" is an adjective that describes something not firmly attached or held tightly. It can also mean something not confined or restricted. Here are some examples:

  • The screw is loose, so it needs to be tightened.
  • His belt was too loose, so he had to make another hole in it.
  • The dog escaped because the fence was loose.

It's important to note that "lose" is pronounced with a voiced "z" sound (/luːz/), while "loose" is pronounced with an unvoiced "s" sound (/luːs/).

If you're unsure whether to use "lose" or "loose," remember that "lose" is related to loss and missing something, while "loose" refers to something not being firmly attached or fixed.

Using these words correctly is crucial in order to convey your intended meaning and avoid confusion in your writing. Improve your writing skills and eliminate grammatical errors with tools like the Linguix grammar checker, which can help you spot and correct mistakes effortlessly.

lose (loose) mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    Spammer on the lose?

    Spammer on the loose?

  • Incorrect:
    What do you do if your tooth gets knocked lose?

    What do you do if your tooth gets knocked loose?

  • Incorrect:
    The boat broke lose from its moorings.

    The boat broke loose from its moorings.

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