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Thread: ruin vs spoil

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    • Join Date: Oct 2007
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    ruin vs spoil

    "can it get/be ruined?"
    "can it get/be spoiled?"


    I would like to know the difference between these verbs. do they mean basically the process of changing from a good state to a bad one?
    how should I use them?
    how shouldn't I use them?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,398

    Re: ruin vs spoil

    Ruined means completely trashed and unusable; spoiled means damaged but not necessarily to the point of no return.

    The watercolour painting fell into the bath and as a result was ruined.

    The effect of his decoration was spoiled by his use of a virulent green on the ceiling.

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