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  1. #1
    RoseSpring's Avatar
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    Soiled/ dirtied!

    If a little child dirtied a young lady's dress for example by spilling some soup (unintentionally of course), would we say:

    "The child has soiled/ spoiled/ dirtied her dress."

  2. #2
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    Re: Soiled/ dirtied!

    Quote Originally Posted by RoseSpring View Post
    If a little child dirtied a young lady's dress for example by spilling some soup (unintentionally of course), would we say:

    "The child has soiled/ spoiled/ dirtied her dress."
    You could use either one.

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    Re: Soiled/ dirtied!

    It's "spoiled" if you can't use it again.

    I can get things dirty and then wash them, and they are clean again. If that's the case, it's not "spoiled."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. #4
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    Re: Soiled/ dirtied!

    It's "spoiled" if you can't use it again.

    I can get things dirty and then wash them, and they are clean again. If that's the case, it's not "spoiled."
    What about soiled then?

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    Re: Soiled/ dirtied!

    I had no further comment on bhaisahab's answer in terms of what is correct.

    However, I rarely use either "soil" or "dirty" as a transitive verb, myself.

    Rather than saying "Oh no! I've soiled my shirt" I would say "Oh no! I got ink/soup/tomato sauce/dirt/schmutz on my shirt!"

    So in your example, I would have said something like "Oh no! Did she get any on you? Oh dear -- it looks like quite a bit of that soup ended up on your shirt. Let's get you to the bathroom and see if we can sponge the worst of it off."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
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    Re: Soiled/ dirtied!

    However, I rarely use either "soil" or "dirty" as a transitive verb, myself.

    Rather than saying "Oh no! I've soiled my shirt" I would say "Oh no! I got ink/soup/tomato sauce/dirt/schmutz on my shirt!"

    So in your example, I would have said something like "Oh no! Did she get any on you? Oh dear -- it looks like quite a bit of that soup ended up on your shirt. Let's get you to the bathroom and see if we can sponge the worst of it off."
    I understand that one should finally follow what a native speaker says, because the native speaker represents the real use of language. However, I really can't use your suggestion because it is rather a formal situation: A housekeeper in a rich family is talking to a wealthy lady after one of the children of the family has soiled her dress with soap.

    So, do you have other formal acceptable alternatives concerning such situation?

    Much obliged

  7. #7
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    Re: Soiled/ dirtied!

    Quote Originally Posted by RoseSpring View Post
    I understand that one should finally follow what a native speaker says, because the native speaker represents the real use of language. However, I really can't use your suggestion because it is rather a formal situation: A housekeeper in a rich family is talking to a wealthy lady after one of the children of the family has soiled her dress with soap.

    So, do you have other formal acceptable alternatives concerning such situation?

    Much obliged
    "Soiled", "dirtied" and "spoiled" are all fine in a formal situation such as you describe. As Barb implied you would be less likely to use those terms in everyday situations.

  8. #8
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    Re: Soiled/ dirtied!

    Thank you very much for you both.

    I really have no idea why my questions are usually so controversial!


    Much obliged indeed.

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