Lose or Loose

Deciding between lose or loose shouldn't be difficult!

However, they are two English words that are often confused by English learners. Though they sound similar, they have different meanings and uses in English grammar.


"Lose" is a verb, which means to misplace something or suffer the loss of something. It can also refer to failing to win in a game or contest, or to get rid of something unnecessary or unwanted.

Here are five examples of how to use "Lose":

Examples of Lose:

  • I always seem to lose my keys when I am in a hurry.
  • She didn't want to lose the opportunity to travel abroad.
  • They will lose the match if they don't improve their defense.
  • He fears that he might lose his job due to the economic crisis.
  • Try to lose some weight for better health.


On the other hand, "Loose" is primarily an adjective, which means not tightly fitted, attached, or held. It can also refer to something that is not strict or accurately defined.

Here are five examples of how to use "Loose":

Examples of Loose:

  • The screws on the chair are loose and need tightening.
  • Be careful, there's a loose tile on the floor.
  • She prefers to wear loose clothing when she exercises.
  • There is a loose dog in the neighborhood.
  • The rules in this game are pretty loose (i.e. not clearly defined).

Summing Up: Lose or Loose

Remember, "Lose" and "Loose" do not share the same grammatical use, with lose a verb meaning the loss of something and loose an adjective meaning something not tight fitting or not clearly defined.

The key to using them correctly is understanding their definition and where they fit in a sentence.

Test what you've learned in this Lose or Loose Quiz >>

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