One of the more common grammar mistakes is the wrong use of lose and loose. I even see this mistake on sales pages written by supposedly 6-figure copywriters. These glaring mistakes on Web pages can be quickly and easily dismissed with a click of the mouse. But when these mistakes appear on your book, your credibility and readership are at stake. One basic rule in writing a book is making sure you use correct grammar.
Lose and loose are two words that sound the same, but are worlds apart. For starters, lose is a verb, while loose is an adjective.
1. to come to be without (something in one’s possession or care), through accident, theft, etc., so that there is little or no prospect of recovery.
2. to fail inadvertently to retain (something) in such a way that it cannot be immediately recovered: I just lost a dime under this sofa.
3. to suffer the deprivation of: to lose one’s job; to lose one’s life.
4. to be bereaved of by death: to lose a sister.
5. to fail to keep, preserve, or maintain: to lose one’s balance; to lose one’s figure.
Examples: The weaker team will certainly lose the game. Hold your keys tightly or you might lose them.
On the other hand, loose means:
1. free or released from fastening or attachment: a loose end.
2. free from anything that binds or restrains; unfettered: loose cats prowling around in alleyways at night.
3. uncombined, as a chemical element.
4. not bound together: to wear one’s hair loose.
5. not put up in a package or other container: loose mushrooms.
Examples: My dog escaped because his leash was loose. The dress was loose because it was too large.
The adjective for lose is lost. He found his lost dog. The verb for loose is loosen. Relax and loosen your necktie.