Loose vs Lose – Grammar, Language & Enlightenment

by Sherry Riter in Other  

the moose is loose in virginia

I have NO IDEA how people get confused with the words LOOSE and LOSE, but not everyone cares that much about spelling or grammar. I actually think I have several of those type of people in my own family. 😉 I promise not to name any names, Mom and Alyssa. LOL

Maybe I’ll give you a mnemonic device that might be more helpful than my illustration, but then again maybe I should just save it for later.

Anyway, everyone enjoyed my last grammar lesson about YOUR vs YOU’RE and gave me all kinds of suggestions for more posts, so I’m going to dive into all the quirks in our language while trying to make you laugh about it too.

When And How To Correctly Use “LOOSE”

Are you ready?

LOOSE = not rigidly fastened or securely attached : having worked partly free from attachments : having relative freedom of movement : not tight-fitting : free from a state of confinement or restraint : not tightly drawn or stretched

Let me give you a few examples of sentences using LOOSE:

I’ve lost so much weight, my pants are LOOSE in the waist and the butt!

Because her morals are LOOSE , she doesn’t see anything wrong with shoplifting, taking money out of her friends purse or cheating on her income taxes.

A LOOSE interpretation of “Healthy Eating” would be “A man covered in chocolate.”

A simple sound check for the word LOOSE is that when you say it out loud, the “s” is like a hissing sssssnake.

When And How To Correctly Use “LOSE”

LOSE = to miss from one’s possession or from a customary or supposed place : to suffer loss through the death or removal of or final separation : to fail to keep control of or allegiance of : to fail to win, gain, or obtain : to cause the loss of : to free oneself from : get rid of

Let me give you a few examples of sentences using LOSE:

If you snooze, you LOSE.

By not listening, you LOSE the opportunity to get to know someone better.  

Once you LOSE the unwanted weight, it has a tendency to boost your self-esteem.

When you LOSE someone you love, it takes a long time for the heart to heal.

A simple sound check for the word LOSE is that when you say it out loud, the “s” sounds like a “z” and the word will rhyme with “snooze” or “booze”.

What’s The Big Deal About LOOSE and LOSE?!

LOOSE is not interchangeable with LOSE — ever!

Here’s some common sentences using “LOOSE” and “LOSE” incorrectly:

Correct—> I need to LOSE weight! = You have packed on the fat and know that it is unhealthy.
Wrong —> I need to LOOSE weight! = MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL!

When someone says they need to LOOSE weight, do you know what goes through my mind? I can see a person’s tummy that is has fat barely attached. The person is able to grab it, pull it slightly, and then it just detaches. Yes! That would be LOOSE weight! If fat was THAT easy to get rid of, we would see piles of fat everywhere we turned. People would discard their LOOSE weight all the time! Imagine the Walmart parking lot with piles of LOOSE weight!!! Isn’t that just a great visual? LOL

The mnemonic device that I was referring to at the beginning of the post is something that my family says every now and again. Since my nickname is “Moose,” this little ditty applies sometimes when I’m out and about doing errands.

“The Moose is ‘LOOSE’ today.”

Seriously, if you just remember that one saying, LOOSE and LOSE will always make sense!

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ruth Hill August 25, 2013 at 10:38 am

This is one of my pet peeves that I have complained about on more than one occasion. I also get tired of the confusion between quite and quiet. If someone writes that they are being quite so they won’t disturb anyone–well, it makes absolutely no sense!


2 Sherry Riter August 25, 2013 at 9:42 pm

😀 Yes, Ruth! That is also on an upcoming grammar lesson, so stayed tuned!


3 Philip Bond August 25, 2013 at 6:37 pm

G’Day Sherry, have a image I use sometimes as my cover photo called Missed Period’s and other grammatical errors , don’t know if it will copy here but here tis, Missed periods.jpg


4 Sherry Riter August 25, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Thanks, but it didn’t copy. 🙁


5 Bm August 26, 2013 at 3:04 am

Excellent way to remember the difference..


6 Sherry Riter August 26, 2013 at 9:44 pm

😀 I’m glad you found it helpful!


7 Joan August 26, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I didn’t lose anything, but my pants were so loose on me that they slid all the way down to my ankles. I quickly retrieved them and pulled them back up to my waist, but they were so loose that they slid back down to my ankles again. I thought, “Wow, this new diet is really working! I must be down to a size 2! (Is there really such a size as a size 2? LOL) Well, I know there is a size 8. Did I lose that much weight that my pants are so loose on me that I’m a size 8?” I must be dreaming. Yep, I was dreaming alright, because I then woke up and I definitely wasn’t a size 8! So much for lose vs. loose. 🙂


8 Sherry Riter August 26, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Silly! Yes, there is a size 2. Did you know that there is also a size 000? I know there is because Alyssa used to wear that size!!! LOL


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