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*Asterisk = examples of errors or poor constructions*.

Student Learning: Grammar

Common vocabulary mistakes

Lose or loose

'Lose' and 'loose' are often confused in writing because the look and sound so similar. As well as this, we can often skip over them without realising that they have been misused; our eyes replace the word that is there for the one that should be there.

  1. 7.1 Lose: (rhymes with snooze)

    Lose is a verb that is related to loss. It means fail to win, or be deprived (of) or misplace.

I've gambled nearly all my money, so I've got nothing lose now.

We've got the better team; you'll lose this game.

Keep your keys in your pocket or you may lose them!

  1. 7.2 Loose: (Rhymes with moose or goose)

    Loose is mainly used as an adjective. It is the opposite of tight.

Oh, careful! one of your shoelaces is loose.

Don't sit on that chair, the screws are loose.

  1. 7.3  Loose as a verb

    Loose can also be used as a verb meaning to release or to relax. Such use sounds quite old fashioned now.

Halt right there! or I'll loose my dog on you.

You look tired, you need to loosen up.