Grammar Lessons with Kate: Loss vs. lost

Loss vs. lost

by Kate Asbury Larkin

Although loss and lost both deal with the same subject, they are not used in the same way.

Remember it this way: Lost and past tense both contain the letter “t.” #boom

Loss is a noun; it is the act or an instance of losing.

That was an unexpected loss.
The family suffered a terrible loss with the death of Jane.
If you sell something at a loss, you are selling it below cost.

Lost is the past tense (and past participle) of lose. Since lost is a verb, you should expect to see it following a subject of some kind.

She lost her car in the crowded parking lot.

Lost as an adjective. Lost can also function as an adjective in a sentence.

The lost child.
A lost opportunity.
My basketball is lost.