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Loss vs. Lost: How To Choose Your Words Correctly?

by subhasree nag

According to the Thesaurus, “The word lost is used as the past tense and past participle form of the irregular verb lose. Lost can also be used as an adjective to mean “unable to be found” or “having gone astray.” The word loss is only used as a noun. It has several meanings, which include “something that is lost,” “death,” and “a failure to win.”

Losing is something we all despise, and that is probably the reason behind all the confusion that has been around the irregular verb ‘lose.’ Confusion arises when we have to differentiate between lose and loose as well as lose and loss. Wait, it doesn’t end here. There is also confusion between the words ‘loss’ and ‘lost.’

Without further ado, let’s get on to solve the debate between loss vs lost. In this article, we will try to break down the difference we have between lost and loss and look into how these words are actually used in different sentences.

Let’s start with the loss vs lost meaning  

The word “loss” is actually a noun which means losing. For example, “this is a huge loss for the team that one of their most senior members is leaving.”

And “lost” is actually a verb that refers to someone losing something or if someone has loses at something. For example, “ the Knicks lost the game yesterday.”

How to use loss in a sentence?  

Let’s start with the loss vs lost meaning

As mentioned above, we use the noun loss when we refer to losing someone or something. And we also know that loss is the opposite of winning, and to lose is the opposite of winning; these words are mostly found in the context of some kind of competition or sports.

Examples of loss  

  • After a disastrous game of 7 losses, the team got eliminated from the next game.
  • “In its first-ever financial disclosure released this week, the New York-based firm reported a net loss of $103.3 million on trading, with $13.5 million on digital assets and another $85.5 million of unrealized losses on those assets.”- CNBC.com
  • They have been facing a steady loss after they lost 3.5 million dollars in the share market, and their image is getting blurry as they are ruining their reputation and letting go of a lot of employees.
  • “As streaming music has spread around the world, Spotify’s financial picture has remained much the same year after year: rapid revenue growth, with steady losses.” – New York Times
  • The loss of a quarterback is going to affect the team badly.
  • The loss of a mother can never be fulfilled by anyone, even though you hired a full-time nanny for your little girl. This is not going to be enough for her; you need to give her more time.

How to use lost in a sentence?  

Lost, the verb, is the past participle form of ‘to lose.’ there are various different ways of using ‘to lose,’ but mostly, it sums up ‘failing to win,’ ‘not being able to retain,’ or ‘trying to get rid of.’ The best way to understand loss vs lost is through examples.

Examples of lost  

  • “The U.S. economy had lost two million jobs that year; without a government response, it would lose four million more in the next year.” – The New Yorker
  • “Washington has lost 18 of its past 24 games and remains seven games behind first-place Atlanta in the National League East following the Braves’ second straight loss to the New York Yankees.” – The Washington Post
  • I almost lost 30 pounds in three months after dieting and exercising fiercely. I am feeling a lot better now, and many of my physical issues have been resolved as well.
  • The team lost the final round as he missed the shot, but their goalkeeper did not let them down and saved the last one which got the team their win.
  • The musician lost his cool after the policeman ill-treated his fans. He got out himself and talked to the force himself and met his fans and clicked selfies with them.

Lost is an irregular verb, which means it does not follow the general rules of conjugation in English grammar. Mostly, ‘ed’ is added to the past form of verbs. For example:

  • I play
  • I played
  • I will play

But when we consider the verb lost, it is a little different.

  • I lose
  • I lost
  • I will lose

Different uses of lost  

Lost is also used as an adjective aside from a verb, but loss can only be used as a noun.

👉 Lost as a verb examples

  • Ben lost the key in the driveway.
  • Emma lost her wallet on the bus while coming back from school.
  • Joe lost his job as the company was pursuing cost-cutting.
  • Bill lost his mother last year to cancer.
  • Nick lost the game because of his knee injury.

👉 Lost as an adjective examples

  • The lost child was found crying by the road, unable to find his parents.
  • The police solved the case of the lost child.
  • The lost days of our childhood are not going to come back.
  • While trekking, they got lost in the woods.
  • The detectives solved the mystery of the lost car keys.

Wrapping up!  

The words “loss” and “lost” can be separated by their grammatical use. ‘Loss’ is a noun, whereas ‘lost’ is a verb and an adjective as well. Now these are the two words that might get you confused but do not get confused by their spellings. There should not be any confusion between “losses vs loses,” “lossed or lost,” “lost or losed.”

I hope the confusion between ‘loss vs lost’ is clear now; if not, read the article once more and go through the examples once more.


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