loose OR lose?
These two words cause some confusion for many people. Even native speakers sometimes have to think twice when using them. Their spelling is similar, but their pronunciation and meanings are very different.
- loose (adjective): not tight, not firm; not fitting tightly; relaxed
- lose (verb): 1. be unable to find something 2. stop having something 3. fail to win
The word loose is an adjective, and it rhymes with gooSe. If something is loose it is not fixed; it is free and unconstrained.
Look at these examples:
- One of the car's wheels came loose and fell off.
- Ten prisoners have broken loose and are on the run.
- I need to go to the dentist. I've got a loose tooth.
- Do you have this shirt in size S? This is M and it's too loose on me.
- The climate here is hot and humid. You should bring something loose to wear.
- For some reason the shark suddenly loosed its grip on the man and let him go.
- The boatman loosed the ropes and cast off.
Remember, the word lose is a verb, and it rhymes with snooZe. It has the idea of failure - failure to keep or get something. The verb lose is irregular, and its parts look like this:
Look at these example sentences:
- Put your money in your pocket or you will lose it.
- I've lost my watch. Have you seen it anywhere?
- Our company is losing a lot of customers since we increased prices.
- My doctor says I'm overweight. He wants me to lose 10 kilograms.
- We're losing a lot of production time thanks to the bad weather.
- Which country lost the American War in Vietnam?
- England lost the World Cup to Germany.
- Last year our company made a profit but this year we have made a loss.
- His sister's death came as a terrible loss to him.
Listen to these sentences to hear the pronunciation:
It's easy to lose loose change.*
Loose change is very easy to lose.
Put your loose change in your pocket or you'll lose it.
If I lose weight, this shirt will be too loose on me.**
Your clothes get loose when you lose weight.
Losing weight makes your belt looser.
*loose change = small coins | **lose weight = get thinner