To Lose or Let Loose – Common English Errors Explained

July 28th, 2011 by

Lose Vs Loose

When it comes to common English errors that people make – this one takes the cake!

Common English Errors

Call it the by-product of overtly excited typing or sheer negligence, but an error like this can paint a very bad picture of yours in the eyes of any Grammar Nazi. There’s no need to lose your sanity over how to use these words, it’s pretty simple actually.

Lose is a verb, while Loose is an adjective. Before you go medieval on me – wait, there’s more – Loose can be used as a verb as well (although it’s used rarely).

Here are some examples of correct usage:

  • You are likely to lose a race if your shoes are loose.
  • You are likely to lose your shoes if your shoelaces are loose too!
  • Legolas didn’t lose his cool, but calmly loosed an arrow into the air to show that he meant business. 

Seems simple, doesn’t it?

You can learn to differentiate between the words phonetically, as loose is pronounced with more emphasis on the ‘s’, while lose is often pronounced with a ‘z’ replacing the ‘s’.

The next time you see someone misspell ‘lose’, let loose the purist within you and teach them an English lesson that they’ll never forget!


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