Angela’s ABCs: words sometimes confused – loose and lose by Angela Caldin
I often hesitate over which of these two words is right in the particular context and it’s only when I say them out loud that I can get it clear.
Loose, which rhymes with goose, is usually an adjective meaning not firmly or tightly held in place; not compact or dense; and free from restraint or confinement.
- The farmer realised that all the cows were loose and were trampling the vegetable patch.
- Matilda had a loose tooth which she hoped would soon come out and earn her some money from the tooth fairy.
- She decided to wear her hair loose around her shoulders rather than scraped back into a tight bun.
Lose, which rhymes with booze, is always a verb meaning to misplace something; to be deprived of or cease to have or retain something one once had; to become unable to find someone or something; to fail to win; or to fail to use or take advantage of.
- It seemed impossible that the All Blacks might lose the match, but Ireland defeated them 16-9.
- Maddy was devastated when she lost her phone and was unable to keep in contact with her friends.
- He realised that he was in danger of losing his good reputation by drinking to excess.
You “lost” me somewhere. Not really, I’m just trying to be clever.
Very clever Marge! And good to have your comment. You are one of our most loyal readers and commentators. Long may it last. Angela xx