What difference between "miss" and "lose" leads to the different form of word in the sentence? Why we can't say "the book is missed" or "the book is losing"?

2 Answers 2


"Missing" and "lost" are very similar in meaning, with just a subtle difference: "missing" is about location, when something is not in the place where it should be, whereas "lost" is about knowledge, when one does not know where something is. "My shoes are missing" means they're not where I expected to find them. "My shoes are lost" means I don't know where they are. You could use these two words interchangeably in many cases.

But "missed" (as in "the book is missed") is different -- it means that one remembers something fondly that is no longer present. If you sold a book you really loved, you might later say that you missed (having, reading, etc.) the book. And "losing" (as in "the book is losing") could only mean that the book is playing some sort of game and is not winning, which is not normally something you would say about an inanimate object.


“Missing” refers to a status that is currently occurring, which corresponds to the present progressive. The book is missing right now, but there is still hope it will be found someday.

“Lost” is a status that has already happened, which corresponds to the past tense. The book’s location became unknown, and it is gone, probably forever.

In actual usage, the line is blurred, partly because in most cases, it is impossible to predict whether an item will ever be found. But in terms of literal meaning, “missing” means the location is unknown at this time, while “lost” means the location completely gone from our knowledge.

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