I see the example sentences for the word "loss" here and there, and it sounds like that it is used mainly for referring to these two cases: In case that a great grief will follow up, like missing the opportunity to keep in contact with someone, or when someone passes away, and another case in which the topic is usually about money. I'm not sure if I'm right, but if I am, my question is that what word or phrase can substitute "loss" in cases that we're neither talking about a great damage, nor the topic is money. To shed some light on my question, I give an example:

My parents warned me that I mustn't become friends with him or else I'd make a loss.

Here, as you see, my parents are concerned about the bad influence that I might fall under, and the destructive effects that this friendship can have on my future. Assuming that I don't want to use the word "regret" do you think there's a phrase or phrasal-verb close to this meaning that I can use?

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    You're mistaken if you suppose that the word loss itself implies "severity". But instead of searching for a (probably non-existent) verb to replace your suggested make a loss, you'd probably do better to learn why I'll = I will is syntactically invalid in your text (it's a conditional clause, which requires an appropriate auxiliary verb form such as ...or [else] I would suffer). Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 17:41
  • @FumbleFingers Thanks a ton. Do you mean "make a loss" is used correctly in the above sentence?
    – M-J
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 17:56
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    Offhand I can't think of any common contexts where make a loss is used naturally to mean anything other than a financial loss - in respect of corporate accounts, or some linked set of trades (e.g - selling something for less than you paid, particularly if the purpose of buying it was to sell at a profit). It certainly isn't natural in your cited context above, where all we know is that the child will suffer some relatively minor "negative outcome" if he ignores his parent's advice. Noting the singular there, I'll also just say it's very unusual to use my parent for just one. Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


I think that you are looking for this phrase:

to lead someone astray

Here is a definition from Collins Dictionary:

If you are led astray by someone or something, you behave badly or foolishly because of them.

Now, using this phrase you can make this sentence like that:

My parent warned me that I mustn't become friends with him or else I may be led astray.

  • Thanks, but this is not my answer.
    – M-J
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 14:58
  • Could you tell me maybe something more about the answer you are looking for. I will try to do my best to find the phrase. Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 15:07
  • Now I hesitate if this verb exists at all in English but it exactly means the opposite of "bringing benefit".
    – M-J
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 17:54
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    @m-j I think you are right that the word you seek does not exist, at least not in the exact form and usage that you imagine. I am trying to think of a natural way of rewording "...I'd make a loss" in the way that you want, and the closest that I can think of is "...it would be to my disadvantage". But in practice, if I was trying to express the meaning of your sentence, I would restructure it completely and use the expression "bad influence". Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 22:43

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