spray, splash and sprinkle

mcmay

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi, people, here are three verbs that have for the past few days been teasing my mind. They are: spray, splash and sprinkle.
I've checked them up in many big dictionaries in order to distinguish one from another but have up to now ended up more confused than ever. I'd like to ask you for help. Please tell me the difference in the fine shades of meaning between them.
Thank you in advance.
 
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    If you dipped your fingers in water then held them over someone's head, you would sprinkle them with water:individual drops.
    If you slapped your hand sideways across the water, you could splash someone. A car driving through a puddle could splash you: a considerable amount of water at one go.
    If you have a hose with water running through it you could spray someone.
    A spray can be fine, such as that from a perfume bottle for example or heavy, for example from a hose when the tap is turned to maximum.

    Hope that helps!
     

    mcmay

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    If you dipped your fingers in water then held them over someone's head, you would sprinkle them with water:individual drops.
    If you slapped your hand sideways across the water, you could splash someone. A car driving through a puddle could splash you: a considerable amount of water at one go.
    If you have a hose with water running through it you could spray someone.
    A spray can be fine, such as that from a perfume bottle for example or heavy, for example from a hose when the tap is turned to maximum.

    Hope that helps!
    Thank you, Franco-filly.
    I think your illustration does help a lot. Those examples are clear demonstrations of the difference between the three sp- words. Sometimes I just can't find examples like yours in the dictionary. I think that's a great pity.
    Thank you agin. And more telling examples are welcome.
     

    grubble

    Senior Member
    British English
    Sprinkle - a few drops of liquid falling from above
    Splash - a large amount of water usually coming from the side
    Spray - one or several streams of liquid all moving rapidly in a given direction
     
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