Public Services and Procurement Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional Links


Important notice

Good news! We have updated our writing tools. Writing Tips and The Canadian Style have been combined to create a new tool called Writing Tips Plus.

Don’t forget to update your bookmarks. Within a few weeks, Writing Tips will no longer be available.

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

loose, lose

As an adjective or adverb, loose has the meaning “slack” or “unrestrained.”

  • The brisk breeze scattered the stack of loose papers onto the floor.
  • The dogs love to run loose in the Arboretum.

As a verb, loose refers to the act of setting free or unleashing something; the past tense is loosed.

  • Loose the boat from its mooring before stepping aboard.
  • When he heard the noises in the bushes, Howard loosed the dogs.

The verb lose means to misplace (something) or not to have (something) any longer; its past tense is lost.

  • A balanced diet will help you lose weight in a healthy way.
  • When Janet lost her engagement ring, her fiancé was very upset.