The spelling of these two words is very similar, and their pronunciation does not directly match their spelling, so students sometimes confuse 'loose' and 'lose'.


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

But hey I got myself ♫ nothin' to lose.

♪ You're gonna lose that girl ♫

♫♪ If I ever lose my faith in you ♪

Here are some ordinary sentences (not from songs) as examples:

He's gambled nearly all his money, so he thinks that he now has nothing to lose.

We've got the better team; you have no choice but to lose the game.

Keep your keys on a chain in your pocket or you may lose them to a street pickpocket.


Loose (rhymes with goose, or moose). Have you ever heard of a loose goose?

Loose is an adjective. It means the opposite of tight... not tight.

Oh, be careful, your shoelace is loose.

Stop, don't use that chair, it has a loose screw.

Don't bother talking to him, he has a screw loose.

Loose as a verb

Loose is occasionally used as a verb to mean to release or to relax. It is rather old-fashioned now.

Halt right there! or I'll loose the dogs.

You look tired, you need to loosen up a bit more.

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