Is it correct to say, "I lost my bus," when you miss a bus? I have seen it commonly used.


Certainly not in American English. I've never seen it when reading British books, either; in fact, I don't recall seeing or hearing it in my life.

If I were to hear it, I'd assume lost meant "misplaced" and were meant as a joke.

On the other hand, the questioner's profile says he's Indian, and I don't know Indian English at all. Perhaps this is common there, though Google seems to imply otherwise.

Edit: Others' comments on this answer indicate that this is considered incorrect in both the U.K. and India.

  • 4
    Just to confirm, we wouldn't say it in the UK either. – user1579 Mar 31 '11 at 17:31
  • 4
    As an Indian I would like to confirm that this is by no means appropriate Indian english. – Mulki Apr 3 '11 at 18:20

It's probably a recent phenomenon and I believe a literal translation of the Spanish

He perdido [el avión, el bus...].

  • 2
    Same thing in Portuguese – b.roth Mar 31 '11 at 8:32
  • Same thing in French – Olivier Pons Mar 31 '11 at 12:25
  • 2
    Never heard it in French ("j'ai perdu mon bus" ??) – kraymer Mar 31 '11 at 13:45
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    Right, French would be “j’ai raté mon bus”, not “perdu”. (raté = missed, failed) – Konrad Rudolph Mar 31 '11 at 14:33
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    In Italian, there is just a verb for miss and lost: perdere. – kiamlaluno Mar 31 '11 at 17:30

You can lose something if you once possessed it. You can lose your mind, your marbles, and your keys, but most ordinary people will never lose their bus or their plane.

  • 3
    I'd rather say something you once possessed or could have had. example: you've just lost the game.[the victory] – BiAiB Mar 31 '11 at 14:51

It is more appropriate to use missed my bus. I've never heard people say “I lost my bus” to imply the meaning you are referring to. I think it can be used in situations when a bus once owned is destroyed, but that is rare.

I fancy that this sentence is from a story where the speaker runs some transport agency and the bus service he/she had run earlier is terminated or is out of his/her control. :)

  • 4
    It would make sense if a bus service was stopped, "I lost my bus to work, I now have to drive everyday" but that's the only context I can think of in BE. – mgb Mar 31 '11 at 15:43
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    Other possibilities- following a bus in a car- "Don't lose the bus". "Don't lose the bus- make sure the deposit is remitted before Friday or the team will be walking". – Spehro Pefhany Mar 9 '14 at 0:08

Well, I've listened the expression to lose the bus in America, I was talking to my friend and he said to me: tomorrow, don't lose the bus, don't miss school. It was interesting that he used both verbs. PS: He is American, born and raised in Kansas. Maybe it is some Portuguese or Spanish influence on his speech, even tho there are few immigrants here. Maybe it's starting to be interchangeable just like miss/lose an opportunity.

  • 2
    Highly doubtful in terms of interchangeability. – virmaior Mar 5 '14 at 16:42

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