You are going to spoil/jeopardize the meal by throwing salt

Discussion in 'English Only' started by loureed4, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. loureed4 Senior Member

    Spain
    Spanish
    Hello,

    I am trying to figure out about the best word to use here, either "jeopardize" or "spoil" (or any other I have not thought of).

    "You are going to spoil/jeopardize the meal by throwing salt in it"

    And: "If you don´t update your cv, you are going to jeopardize/spoil your possibilities of finding a job"
    .

    Sometimes it is hard to tell for me the difference and when to use one or the other.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
  3. loureed4 Senior Member

    Spain
    Spanish
    Yes!! , and it is (to me) kind of confusing!
     
  4. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    They really don't mean the same thing. Jeopardize means "put in danger" or "put at risk," and it can be used for both serious risks and less concrete risks such as one's career prospects. It wouldn't sound natural to me to apply it to the amount of salt in food, though.

    Spoil means "ruin," so it can be applied to dinner. It would be rather odd to use it in reference to one's career, however. It can be applied to food and clothing and even to children (where it means "over-indulge"), but it's not generally applied to careers or anything serious or semi-serious.
     
  5. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    I'm not sure how you would affect an entire meal by adding salt to one dish.

    In any event, in general:
    spoil = damage
    jeopardize = endanger
     
  6. loureed4 Senior Member

    Spain
    Spanish
    Thanks both,

    Yes, I am reading the examples in online dictionaries, and I have just written down in my notebook "jeopardize" and "endanger" as synonym. But "spoil", from movies I knew it was applied to meals and to children "he is a spoiled child", but what I am trying to figure out is when they overlap in meaning.

    Moreover, to make things "worse" , I have just found "undermine", so, I made up this sentence:

    "The German tried to jeopardize/spoil/undermine our project, but eventually they didn´t achieve it and we were awarded with the first prize".

    In my humble opinion, the three of them fit in that sentence fine, don´t they?
     
  7. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    They could be used in that sentence depending on what the Germans did. They are not synonyms. We painted the house blue/red/green. Blue, red, and green are not synonyms but they all work in that sentence.
     
  8. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    Yes, but the reason all three work, I think, is because of "tried to." If something is spoiled, it's ruined. If it's jeopardized, it's in danger - there's the potential for ruin, but it's potential that isn't necessarily fulfilled yet. But because the sentence says "tried to" - "tried to spoil," "tried to jeopardize," "tried to undermine" - all three work because you're not saying the project was jeopardized, spoiled or undermined; you're saying someone tried to do one of those things.

    Edit: And Myridon is right - they aren't synonyms. Which word is the right word depends on what those pesky Germans tried to do.
     
  9. loureed4 Senior Member

    Spain
    Spanish
    That is a great point JustKate!!

    So, if I say: The German jeopardized(endangered)/spoiled (ruined)/undermined our project, but eventually they didn´t achieve it and we were awarded with the first prize". ...I think in this case, only "jeopardize" work, because it wasn´t carried out with success because they got the prize...I think.

    That was great indeed JustKate, these three words are becoming a bit easier now! :)
     
  10. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    This is wrong as The German is singular and They is plural.
    Eventually is wrong - omit it -> they didn't achieve it requires no qualification.
    to award is transitive and does not require "with".
    Yes, that's right.
     
  11. loureed4 Senior Member

    Spain
    Spanish
    1- "The German" and "They" don´t match ?. Should I write then "he/she/it" ?

    2- Could I say: "...but in the end, they didn´t achieve it" ? . I quite don´t understand why "eventually" is not necessary.

    3- Yes, "award a price", oh my, ....Thanks!!

    Thanks a lot PaulQ , I do appreciate your help indeed!
     

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