While many people use these words interchangeably, they are not the same, so let’s start this Grammar Tip by defining loose and lose.
Loose – adjective – not tight fitting, not securely attached
Lose – verb – a defeat, lost or missing
While researching memory tricks for these words, I came across this trick from Mignon Fogarty, known as the Grammar Girl. I’m sure you have heard the expression “loose as a goose.” The phrase means relaxed or not uptight (aka: not tight). Loose, which means not tight, has two Os, and goose has two Os. Now, you’ll be able to recall the correct meaning of loose.
There is not a memory trick for lose; however, if you remember the trick above for loose, you will know the difference between the two words and know which one to use.
Do you have a grammar question? Let me know about it in the comments. I’ll answer your question in a future Grammar Tips post. Of course, you can always check my Grammar Tips page to view previously posted tips.