Grammar Showdown: Lose vs. Loose

Grammar ShowdownI decided to use the Grammar Showdown blog category to educate and inform instead of poking fun of popular grammar errors. Trust me, even skilled writers make honest mistakes. This first Grammar Showdown post will feature:

Lose vs. Loose

I admit it…this one drives me absolutely bonkers. Especially having spent time on various fitness, weight training, and nutrition pages; these two unrelated terms are accidentally interchanged all too often.

So let’s set the record straight and help you find a fun way or two to remember the right application of both lose and loose.

Lose:  This verb is used to indicate a loss or deprivation of some kind. Common examples include:

  • Nothing to lose
  • Lose body fat
  • Lose an hour during Daylight Savings Time

Loose:  This adjective is best used to reference an item that is not tightly fit or secured. Common examples include:

  • Loose pocket change
  • A loose tooth
  • Set an animal loose

Here are a few easy ways to help you remember the difference between these two terms.

In this graphic, the gal on the left doesn’t have many more ‘o’s to lose, while the gal on the right can fit more than one ‘o’ in those loose pants.

Loose vs Lose

What about these two well known phrases?

Loose Lips                                      Hang Loose

I hope this first Grammar Showdown post has been informative. What sorts of words do you struggle to use correctly? Comment below and perhaps I’ll feature your feedback in my next Grammar Showdown.

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