destroy/ruin

sevengem

Senior Member
Chinese
How to distinguish the two words as they both mean "completely damage something"?

e.g.
My shoes were _________ in the mud.
The house was ________ by the fire.
 
Last edited:
  • MichaelW

    Senior Member
    English (British)
    To ruin something can have the sense of spoiling, tarnishing or disfiguring etc something, to the point where it is of no further use or value.

    So my shoes were ruined by the mud - I'm not going to wear them again because the mud has fouled them so much.

    To destroy something is to break or demolish etc it completely - my ruined shoes are still in one piece, so they are not destroyed.

    The house was destroyed by the fire - it was burned out, demolished.

    The house was ruined by the fire - the house may still be standing, but perhaps the smoke damage and so on have made it uninhabitable, or whatever beauty it had has been soiled and damaged.
     

    sevengem

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    To ruin something can have the sense of spoiling, tarnishing or disfiguring etc something, to the point where it is of no further use or value.

    So my shoes were ruined by the mud - I'm not going to wear them again because the mud has fouled them so much.

    To destroy something is to break or demolish etc it completely - my ruined shoes are still in one piece, so they are not destroyed.

    The house was destroyed by the fire - it was burned out, demolished.

    The house was ruined by the fire - the house may still be standing, but perhaps the smoke damage and so on have made it uninhabitable, or whatever beauty it had has been soiled and damaged.
    Thank you for your explanation. It is very clear.
     

    ghcherry

    New Member
    Chinese-English
    To ruin something can have the sense of spoiling, tarnishing or disfiguring etc something, to the point where it is of no further use or value.

    So my shoes were ruined by the mud - I'm not going to wear them again because the mud has fouled them so much.

    To destroy something is to break or demolish etc it completely - my ruined shoes are still in one piece, so they are not destroyed.

    The house was destroyed by the fire - it was burned out, demolished.

    The house was ruined by the fire - the house may still be standing, but perhaps the smoke damage and so on have made it uninhabitable, or whatever beauty it had has been soiled and damaged.
    Many thanks ! I finally understand the difference between these two words.
     
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