Do you loose a bet or lose it? Have the pages of your book come loose or lose? How do you tell when to use what?
Here are two simple tricks to resolve the conundrum:
This is a logic-based trick.
Lose is usually used as a verb and means unable to find. It is the opposite of win.
Loose can be used as a verb, adjective, and noun, and means not firmly or tightly fixed in place. It is the opposite of tight or contained.
E.g.: You could lose (not win) a bet if you play loosely (not a tight, focused game). And the pages of your book could come loose (no longer fixed or held together by glue). And, of course, you could lose (not able to find) such loose pages. See the difference?
This is a memory trick.
Loose (meaning spread out, not fixed or tightly held) has an extra “o” than lose (meaning unable to find or win). It is visually more spread out than lose and thus should be used when meaning the opposite of tight or contained.