One of the meanings of "to lose" is "not being able to find". "I lose my umbrella very often." is okay. But what if I use it to mention a place that I can not find. For example: "Every time I go to down town, I lose pub ABC."- as in I can not find the direction. I wonder if it is grammatically correct with loose meaning. A friend of mine was telling this does not mean anything cause one can only "lose" something that s/he possess. I can not find any good example on line for this usage.

2 Answers 2


It is definitely not standard to refer to a location such as a pub as "lost" when you are unable to find it. Normally, the "I can't find it" meaning of lost works only with portable items: you placed a thing somewhere and now either you can't remember where, or someone else moved it and you have been unable to determine its new location. (It does not have to be something you own, although that is most common.)

Ordinarily if you are looking for a place and are not able to find it, we would say that you are lost, not the place. After all, the place is where it has always been; you are the "portable thing" in this scenario.

If you do refer to a place as "lost", the idiomatic understanding would be that you owned the place, and then due to financial difficulties had ownership taken away from you: if you say "I lost my pub" I would assume that you used to own a pub, but were unable to meet your payroll requirements or make your mortgage payments, and the bank foreclosed on the property, and now you no longer own it.


Your friend is correct, you don't generally say you "lose" a place, because "to lose" typically implies that you had something in your possession and now you can't find it. You could however, say something like "I get lost every time I go down town to find pub ABC".

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