Lose It or Loose It - There's a Difference
by Elaine Ernst Schneider


Lose ten pounds or loose ten pounds? What is it that you really want to do? If you lose the ten pounds, then we won't be able to find them. That would be a good thing. But if you loose the ten pounds, you set them free to roll about like a tumbleweed. Ten pounds on the loose would not be a good thing.

LOSE means to lack the possession of, to come to be without.

LOOSE means not tight.

LOOSEN means to unfasten something or make it less constraining.


The hockey team doesn't want to lose the game.
The girl had such a bad sunburn that she could only wear loose clothes.
Set the dog loose. Don't tie him up again.
I am so frustrated! I always seem to lose my keys.
Loosen your hold on the bat. You are gripping it much too tightly!

Exercise 1

1. The shoes were so big that they were ___________ on the little boy's feet.

2. I turned a corner to __________ the guy who was tailing me.

3. Our football team hasn't done so well this year. We are sure to __________ every game.

4. After the bad weather, the penned up dogs were set ____________ to run outside again.

5. The pet store manager was told to __________ the dog's collar as it was much too tight around his neck.

6. Those rules are much too ______________! You need to tighten up security around here.

7. Her husband had to work on her necklace for over an hour before he could ________________ the hung clasp.

8. She wanted her hair fixed in soft ___________ curls.

9. It is a terrible thing to _________ one's self respect.

10. You will _______________ out if you don't get there before the sale ends.

How Does the Effect Affect You? - Another Grammatical Riddle
by Elaine Ernst Schneider


Two very confusing words often misused. Cause and effect, sound effects, weather that affects your health, an affected tone of voice a spelling nightmare. Let's look at basic definitions and parts of speech.

AFFECT – verb – to act upon, to change or to cause a change
AFFECTED – adjective – influenced by an outside force
EFFECT – noun – result; consequence

(Note: there are two exceptions to this rule. When effect is used to indicate a scientific "cause and effect" instance, then it may be used as a verb. An example is:

Do you know the name of the doctor who effected a cure for rabies?

Also, when affect is used in the sense that someone adopted or pretended something, it is a verb. An example is:

Tom affected an Irish accent for his role in the play.  Or, Stinson affected a limp to impress the referees.

But, when affect is used to mean an emotion, then it is a noun. For example:

The crying of the widow created an affect of sorrow in the room.

Although the definitions are certainly beneficial in knowing which spelling of similar-sounding words to use, it is the part of speech that gives us the best clue. Here are examples:

1. She knew the _________ of the weather would impact the arthritis in her knee negatively.

2. The weather always _____________ the arthritis in her knee.

3. The _________ knee responded negatively to the damp weather due to its arthritic condition.



   1. The applause showed how deeply the presentation had _____________ the audience.

   2. His attitude was _________________ by his upbringing.

   3. What ____________ do you think the news will have on her?

   4. No matter what he does, it will have no _____________ on me.

   5. No matter what he does, it will not __________________ me.

   6. What do you think the _______ of the decision will be?

   7. How did her son's departure _________________ Mrs. Sanago?

   8. How was the team _______________ by the loss of their coach?

   9. I was impressed by the _______________ of Churchill's words on Britain during that time.

  10. Do you know what ____________ that medicine will have on you?


Choose, Chose, Choice

choose - (verb) to make a choice or selection.

chose - past tense of verb choose.

choice - (noun) choosing; selection.

Exercise 3

She also helps them become self-supporting if they   __________  to leave their husbands.

In the past, delegates sometimes voted many times before they   __________ a candidate.

Reverend Reed says many couples today   __________ simple, nontraditional weddings.

Companies can   __________ to follow the rules, which will not be legally enforced.

But which of the many Washington museums should they see? And what will they   __________ to see in each one?

Ten Olympic Committee members reportedly accepted gifts and large amounts of money to   __________ Salt Lake City, Utah, to hold the events.

For example, a couple can go to a store and    __________ gifts they would like to receive.

Last week, the I-O-C   __________ Beijing, China, to hold the summer Olympic Games of Two-Thousand-Eight.

They will also   __________ many state and local officials.

Companies can   __________ to follow the rules, which will not be legally enforced.

In the past, Mark   __________ to fly rather than drive.

They say child care is the only   __________ for some families if they want to avoid being poor.

It will   __________ candidates who support community or national development.

Yesterday I    __________ to go by train.

They say advertising also increases public knowledge and   __________ of treatments.

He says   __________  friends from other ethnic groups is an individual .

Each state must   __________ its electors by this Tuesday.

The delegates also will nominate Mr. Gore's   __________ for vice president.

Last week, they  __________  her as captain.

The zoo officials  __________ the animals during a recent trip to the Wolong Reserve.