A mother sees her daughter's shoelaces are all loose from her shoes. What would she say to her?

Your Shoelace tie is off.

Or maybe:

Your shoelace's tie is loose.

Can you correct the above sentences, or tell me what a native speaker would naturally say in this situation?

  • We say shoelaces, not shoelace ties, fyi.
    – Lambie
    Jun 19, 2019 at 15:30

3 Answers 3


A native English speaker would say:

Your shoelaces are untied.

Or alternatively:

You need to tie your shoelaces.

  • 3
    If they're loose but haven't yet come untied, I might say "Your shoelaces are coming untied/undone." I think that perhaps that might be what the OP means by Sentence B, but I'm not sure.
    – user230
    Sep 2, 2013 at 23:35
  • 4
    Or, I might just say, "Your shoes are coming untied." I wouldn't always call them shoelaces.
    – J.R.
    Sep 3, 2013 at 1:39
  • 3
    And I would probably shorten it to simply: Your shoe's untied. Or if it's a parent-to-child statement: Tie your shoe before you trip.
    – Jim
    Sep 3, 2013 at 1:44

If you mean that shoelaces are not done up, people in England and the rest of the UK usually say your shoelaces are undone. There is an example of the word undone in this context, here http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/undone_1?q=undone

There is another example in the question Why do my shoelaces come undone? here http://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/faq.htm


Mostly ditto to Matt. Let me add:

If they're not actually untied but simply loose, I think most would say, "Your shoelaces are loose." But in any case, I think the key point here is that a native speaker would not say "the tie is undone" or "the tie is loosed" but "the shoelace isn't tied" or "the shoelace is loose". While "tie" can be used as a noun like the OP is trying to do, that's relatively rare. We usually just talk about the shoelace -- or the string or the rope or whatever -- being tied or untied or tight or loose. "These ropes are loose", not "The tie of these ropes is loose". "This rope is untied", not "The tie of this rope is undone". Etc.

"Tie" as a noun referring to a neck tie is common, but that's a little different. We're still not talking about the tie of the thing, but about the piece of cloth.

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