“I’m going to loose my mind.” A friend recently wrote this sentence in an email that they sent to me. Grammar oversight or grammar confusion? Having seen this mistake made on more than a couple occasions–yes, I am a grammar nerd even when it comes to Facebook status updates–I thought it would make a good grammar refresher. Whether writing a friend or a business associate, grammar is crucial to getting your point across correctly and maintaining credibility. Before you write something embarrassing like, “I may loose the business deal” read through the difference between “loose” and “lose” below.
Loose: Indicates when something is not fastened tightly or no longer confined.
– I have loose change in my pockets.
– The dog shook loose from his collar.
Lose: As per Webster’s dictionary, there are several meanings for this word including, unable to find an item or person; fail to win; fail to keep, or to have taken from by accident, death, removal, etc.
– Shannon left her diamond necklace in a safe so she would not lose it.
– I lost my car keys.
– John is a sore loser.
Putting it to practice: Which is correct?
A. Did Lee lose her sunglasses?
B. Did Lee loose her sunglasses?
Answer: The correct answer is “A.” The person is inquiring if Lee has misplaced her sunglasses.
Let’s try one more. Which is correct?
A. Tiffany’s watch is loose on my wrist.
B. Tiffany’s watch is lose on my wrist.
Answer: The correct answer is “A.” The person is saying that Tiffany’s watch fits big on his/her wrist and is therefore loose.
Grammatically confused? Email your grammar refresher suggestions to email@example.com.