Difference between Miss and Lose

Let’s talk about the difference between Miss and Lose. There is an interactive quiz for you to complete at the end of this post.

The verbs MISS and LOSE have several different meanings in English and they can be easily confused.

In some languages there are situations where one verb covers them both. But in English they have different meanings, so let’s see what is the difference between miss and lose and how we use them so you can avoid mistakes.

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Difference between Miss and Lose - Video Lesson

Hi there

This is Harry and welcome to my English lessons.

Today we’re going to talk to you about the words miss and lose. M I S S miss and L O S E lose.

They are often confused so I’m going to give you some worked examples which hopefully will help you understand the meaning.

When we use the word miss or the past format of it missed M I S S E D, we mean that we are late for some scheduled event.

Or we feel sad or lonely because somebody isn’t near to us or around us.

Or we forget about some event.

Okay. So let me give you the examples. 

I missed my bus on the way to work this morning. – I was late.

We can’t say:

❌ I lost the bus.


Intermediate to Advanced English Marathon

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

INSANITY: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

how to use miss

I missed the bus. – meaning I got out of bed too late, I spent too much time over breakfast, and when I got to the bus stop the bus had already gone and I was late for work.

So I missed the bus.

I missed your birthday. –  means I forgot your birthday. I wasn’t late for it, I forgot it. I had it written in my calendar but for some reason I didn’t look at the calendar and I forgot to send you a birthday card or I forgot to ring you or text you and in this way.

can say:

Look, I’m really sorry that I missed your birthday. – so not only you were you late but you forgot about it altogether.

If your friend goes away for a few months working to another country or travelling to another country and you’re not able to go with them you might send them a text to say:

I miss you

Now, when they get back you say:

Wow that’s great to see you again, I really missed you. – meaning I was lonely without you.

Okay. So there are some examples of how we use the word MISS.

Difference between Miss and Lose

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how to use lose

Lose L O S E means that you cannot find something. You put it somewhere and you’re not able to locate it. You might find it after a short while so it’s only lost temporarily. Or something that you lose completely. Okay.

So let me give you some examples.

I lost the football match. 

I was playing against another team, we were hoping to win so that we could do better in the
competition but we lost the game. The game is over, we cannot retrieve the situation, the game is lost.

I’ve lost my car keys. I don’t know where they are. 

I can’t say:

I’ve missed my car keys.

I’ve lost my car keys. 

I put them somewhere and I can’t find them. Perhaps they’re on the table.
Perhaps they’re in a pocket of a jacket. Somewhere but at the moment they are lost so I have to look for them.

Difference between Miss and Lose

I lost my place in the queue.

I was standing in a queue waiting to go to the cinema and then I remembered that I had forgotten
to bring my wallet so I ran home and came back and of course the queue was much bigger so I could say:

Oh, I’ve lost my place in the queue. I had to stand at the back of the queue. 

If you lose anything, it’s misplaced temporarily as we talked about the keys or permanently.

I don’t know what I did with my wallet I lost it when I was in town.

You come home and you have no wallet, your cards are gone, you have to cancel them so they are lost forever. So you have to contact the bank to cancel all your credit cards because you lost your wallet. So that’s another more permanent nature than losing your car keys that you find later
in your jacket pocket. Okay.

So that’s hopefully giving you some examples of the difference between MISS and LOSE and remember as always join us on www.englishlessonviaskype.com and subscribe to our channel. 

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Okay. And we talk to you again soon.

Difference between Miss and Lose

interactive quiz - miss vs lose

More Information

For more information on English collocations, English phrasal verbs and English vocabulary words, check out the following links:

Other Words for Beautiful

Phrasal Verbs with Work

25 Collocations with COME

Free resources are always available at BBC Learning English.

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