abandoned vs. disused

antoit

Senior Member
Italian
Hi, I would like to know if there is any difference between "abandoned" and "disused".
1) For instance, if I am referring to a firm which is not functioning since a long time (for instances, decades), and now it is completely ruined, is it "disused" or "abandoned"? Here it is an example: safau udine - Google Search:
2) Or, if a shop or a restaurant closed permanently (for bankruptcy, for example), is it now "abandoned"?
3) Or, if a home is empty, the owner aren't living there, its elements are falling down and the vegetation is growing in every corner, is that "abandoned"? Example: casa abbandonata - Google Search:
Thank you.
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Abandoned means totally without control or ownership. If the restaurant was merely bankrupt, someone (the administrators? the courts? the creditors?) would still own the premises and have legal responsibility. Only if that broke down and nobody gave any care to the premises could they be called abandoned.
     

    antoit

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Abandoned means totally without control or ownership. If the restaurant was merely bankrupt, someone (the administrators? the courts? the creditors?) would still own the premises and have legal responsibility. Only if that broke down and nobody gave any care to the premises could they be called abandoned.
    Thank you for your reply.
    So, if I want to use "abandoned" I need to be sure the building is without ownership.
    I understand I can always use "disused" in the three example I give, right?
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Take care! You've used the words "sure" and "always" in your answer! You should know by now that these are words which are hard to apply to the meanings of words in English, which (like our climate) are often foggy around the coasts.
     

    antoit

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Thank you for your warning. Can you please confirm that in the three examples I gave in #1 the best option is to use "disused"? Or are any other synonims I can use? Thank you.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Well, looking at the photos in that Google search, I'd say that they're disused (nobody is using them), abandoned (nobody is caring for them) and derelict (they're falling into ruin).
     

    AnythingGoes

    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    We don't use disused in American English. I'd describe the factory in the photo as derelict or abandoned, regardless of whether its owner was still in business.
     
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