Grammar 101: Loose vs. Lose

Source: IELTS AU

It’s very common for someone to use a word incorrectly as there are many words that sound similar but mean very different things. To avoid embarrassing blunders (even for native English speakers), we’ve come up with a list of “confusing” words and an explanation of how to correctly use them. This time, we’ll tackle loose vs lose.

  • The difference between loose and lose 
  • Synonyms of loose and lose 
  • Use loose and lose in a sentence

Loose vs. Lose: the difference


Is an adjective: A word that describes a person, place, thing, event, substance or quality. 


Is a verb: A word or phrase that describes an action, condition, or experience.

Loose vs. Lose: the definitions


  • If it’s not firmly held or fastened in place. 
  • Not fitting closely to the body (of clothes). 
  • When something is not tightly controlled, or not exact. 
  • Having low morals, sexually free. 
  • To speak or express emotions very freely, especially in an uncontrolled way. 
  • Not solid (watery) 


  • No longer have something because you do not know where it is. 
  • Have something or someone taken away from you. 
  • Stop feeling something. 
  • Have less of something that you had before. 
  • Get rid of something.
  • Fail to succeed in a game, competition.

Loose vs. Lose: the synonyms


Synonyms for ‘loose’: Baggy, easy, sloppy, free, hanging, slack, unhooked, detached, disconnected, free. 


Synonyms for ‘lose’ are: Drop, fail, forget, give up, suffer, waste, rob, miss, deplete, consume.

Loose vs. Lose: in a sentence


  • A floorboard has come loose in the dining room. 
  • You’re not connected to the internet because there’s a loose connection in the plug. 
  • After the meeting, I was shocked to find a few loose sheets of paper with confidential information lying on the floor. 
  • Although the shoe was in my size, it was very loose. 
  • The movie is a loose adaptation of the short story written by Danny. 


  • Please lose the jacket as it makes you look so much older. 
  • My doctor said my health will improve if I lose weight. 
  • I lose two hours every morning stuck in traffic. 
  • I think it’s best to end our conversation before I lose my temper. 
  • We will have to lose half of our employees if this deal doesn’t go through. 
  • If I don’t run faster, I will lose the race.

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