'Lost' is past and past participle form of verb 'Lose'. It's also a pure adjective as it passes the test of Adjective category. So, we can write

  1. I am lost. (Lost as Predictive Adjective)
  2. I have been lost.(Been as a main verb and lost as an Adjective). In the 2nd sentence, I don't intend to give passive sense. I intend to convey 'I have lost myself' (without using the word 'myself' and 'lost' as a main verb in actual sentence).....So, in this sense, second one is correct or not?
  • Yes, the second sentence is correct. Nobody says "I lost myself", though. You can say: "I lost my way," or "I got lost." – FeliniusRex Apr 13 at 15:40

As you've noted, "lost" can be a verb or an adjective:

  • It is lost (adjective)
  • It has been lost (verb)

Using it as a verb about oneself is different to an object, because when said about an object you mean that you do not know where the object currently is; when said about yourself it doesn't mean you cannot see yourself, it means you do not recognise your surroundings.

You can say "I am lost" (adjective), but if you want to use it as a verb, some idiomatic ways of doing that include:

  • I have got lost.
  • I have got myself lost.
  • I have lost my way.
  • I have lost my bearings.

We wouldn't in this circumstance say "I lost myself" for two reasons - firstly, it just sounds odd, as nobody purposefully loses themself. "I got myself lost" means that your actions inadvertently led to you being lost. Secondly, "I lost myself" can idiomatically mean that you have lost your sense of being, that you are sad, confused, and not feeling like your usual self. It can also mean that you lost control of your emotions or temper.

  • I have some doubts .....1 'It has been lost' is a passive structure.....as u have said 'lost' is working here as a verb. ........2. He has been good to me....(been is a main verb here?) – RADS Apr 13 at 13:50
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    @RADS No: In "He has been good to me", "has" is the matrix verb and "been" is the subordinate verb. – BillJ Apr 13 at 15:22
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    @RADS I get your concerns. 'Getting lost' is a very specific idiom. When a person recognises that they are lost, they don't attribute it to anyone else. For example, if a parent loses a child they would say "I have lost my child", but the child would likely say "I have lost my parent", and not "my parent lost me". So you would never say "I have been lost", unless you meant historically. We say "I have got lost". – Astralbee Apr 13 at 16:58
  • @BillJ What about the first question....the sentence is in passive form? – RADS Apr 14 at 4:10
  • @RADS No, it's not passive."Lost" is an adjective. – BillJ Apr 14 at 6:57

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