Difference between Lose, Loose, Loosen, Loss and Lost

Difference between Lose, Loose, Loosen, Loss and Lost

Lose, loose, loosen, loss and lost are very easy to confuse. They seem to be similar in their meanings and usage but they are used at different situations with different meanings. We come across many suggestions and guidelines against confusion between words loose vs. lose, and loss vs. lost. These words lose and loose are spelled in similar fashion and rhymes so well with each other that create so much confusion. Despite their close relation in their meanings, all the five words are quite distinct in their meanings.

Firstly, we will look at the difference between lose, loose and loosen. When you will be clear about lose and loose, we will move towards the difference between loss and lost.

Differences between Lose, Loose and Loosen

Lose and loose look very similar and create confusion in speech and writing. However, loose and lose are very different in their meanings.

The Correct Use of Lose

We use lose as a verb in a sentence to indicate that something has been misplaced, to be deprived of something or a defeat (in a match, competition, combat etc.) has occurred. It is also used in sense of ‘when are not able to find something’ or ‘cease to retain something’.

Different Forms of Word Lose

The word lose is a verb. We all know that being a verb, it has different conjugations and participles like lose, loses, lost, and losing.

Use of Word Lose in Examples:

I cannot afford to lose my favorite watch.

I will lose everything this time because I’m drunk.

You must lose your weight to stay healthy

I always lose my wallet, and find it in my drawing room. 

I cannot run fast, I will lose the race.

Kitty always loses her water bottle at school. 

You can lose me forever if you marry him.

Excessive protest and riots can lose productivity hours of business firms.

They lose the final match due to poor combination of players.

If you lose my gift, I will not spare you.

The employees of our company lose two hours every morning stuck in traffic. 


Use of Lose in Idioms:

To lose one’s tongue

When someone is unable to speak, we use this idiom.

To lose one’s mind

It means to become crazy, emotional or delirious.

To lose one’s temper

We use this idiom for a person who becomes angry very quickly.

Synonyms of Lose 

Synonyms of lose include: Fail, give up, waste, miss, suffer, deplete.

The Correct Use of Loose

The word loose is an adjective. An adjective describes something additional about a noun like a person, thing, place, quality, or event. Loose mean something non-tight or set free/hanging freely. We use word loose for something that is not tightly fastened in its place. As sometimes, we say that she is wearing loose dress: means that she is wearing clothes that are not fitting closely to her body. We also use it in immoral sense (or sexually free) as we say, ‘her loose talk made her image negative’. Sometimes, a person speaks very openly or expresses emotions very freely, we might say it loose talk. We also use word loose for something that is watery or not solid.

The word loose can also be used as an adverb as in the example below.

She approached on the dais with very loose manners.

We also use to set something free or release as in the example below.

Let the cows loose! Can’t you see they are hungry?

Use of Word Loose in Examples:

Her room caught fire due to loose electric connection in the plug socket.

Can you please change the shirt, its arm look very loose. 

Can you please bring me another pair of shoe; this seems to be a bit loose.

Loose fitting dress is very popular these days.

My kitchen shelf is very loose. I must fix it before going out.

If your shoelaces are loose, you can lose the race. 

Do not wear loose clothing when working on machines.

Kitty loves to wear loose shirts.

One leg has become loose of my dining room. 

Synonyms of Loose 

Synonyms of loose include: Free, detached, hanging, unhooked, slack, disconnected. 

Use of Loose in Idioms:

Play fast and loose

This idiom means to act recklessly or ignoring the rules during an act.

At loose ends

At loose ends means bored.

Have a loose tongue

We use this idiom for a person who is very talkative.

The correct use of Loosen

The word loosen means unfasten or untighten. We use it as a verb n a sentence. Being a verb, it has different conjugations and participles like loosens, loosened, and loosening.

We also use it for something that is more flexible than required.

Use of word loosen in Examples:

I am loosening this knot to soar my kite higher.

Please loosen the bolts to remove battery.

If you fail to loosen a screw, use oil on it and leave it for a while.

The Federal University loosened admission charges policy for this year.

Government should loosen tax regulations for poor people.


Use of loosen in idioms:

Loosen up!

Loosen up means stop being so prudish or tense.

Loosen the purse strings

It refers to become freer with money.

Loosen one’s tongue

 Loosen one’s tongue means to become more talkative.

Differences between Loss and Lost

We have read difference between lose, loose, and loosen. Now we will discuss differences between loss and lost. However, these terms are not difficult but can confuse some reader. In this section of the article, we will discuss correct use of loss and lost with their examples in sentences.

The Correct Use of Loss

The word loss is a noun. The word loss and lose confuse very much. The word lose is a verb and it has different form like lose, loses, lost, losing. However, loss is a noun and do not has another form.

Loss means an act of losing a person or losing something. We use word for Loss for an amount of money that we lost individually or in a business.

The loss is unintentional and unexpected. The loss can be emotional, mental, or physical. Someone can suffer loss of death of his/her beloved. Someone can bear loss in his/her financial resources.

Use of Word Loss in Examples:

If your car has insurance, you can be safe from financial loss in the accident.

We cannot sell it below cast because our company cannot bear more loss.

The death of my teacher was a big loss for my educational career.

Watching movies all the time is only a loss of time for a student

Joseph committed suicide when he listened that his company faced a huge loss.
She must be blamed for the loss she made to company.

The great loss of her life was failure of her marriage.

I am very sorry for your loss.

The correct use of Lost

The word lost is very easy in use and simple to remember. It is past tense of verb lose. Being a verb, it follows a subject of any kind. We use the word lost in a sentence when we are unable to find something since very long. Look at example given below:-

John lost his wallet in during journey.

The word lost can be used as an adjective. An adjective is a part of speech that adds something to a noun. Read the sentences below.

The lost child was found by police from neighboring town. 


Use of word lost in Examples:

I lost my headphone yesterday.

Jenny is not able to find her lost documents.

The little baby lost her toy in the playground.

Joseph lost her sunglasses, and now he is not coming out due to hot sun.


Bottom Lines

It can be difficult for the students to remember the difference between lose, loose, loosen, loss and lost. Here is a short story that will help you build vocabulary regarding use of lose, loose, loosen, loss and lost.