You don’t have to pull your hair out over this one. Saying the words out loud will guide you to the correct choice.
- His tie was too lose.
- Time to loose that smile, buster; I’m handing back your grammar exam.
- Poor word choice can make you look like a looser.
Letting your dog loose in the park so that it can run with other dogs illustrates the most common use of the word: as an adjective. As a verb, the word loose means “to release something.” When you loose your dog, keep an eye out so that you don’t lose it. When you lose something, whatever you had is no longer there. If you can’t find your dog, you might lose hope.
Lose (pronounced “looze”) slows you down when you say it; it is as if you’ve lost something. Try it: looooooze. Loose (pronounced “lūce”) is fast! Run free! You know the difference now!