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oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com:
(1) The children were spared from the virus.

What does (1) mean?
Does it mean (2), (3) or (4)?:
(2) The children didn't contract the virus.
(3) The children contracted the virus but, after that, were cured.
(4) The children contracted the virus but it didn't cause any serious harm to their health.

How will the meaning change if we remove "from"?:
(5) The children were spared the virus.

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  • I think most people would under stand it to mean that they didn't catch it. If they had caught it but escaped serious harm, it would be The children were spared the worst effects of the virus. Apr 5, 2023 at 14:35
  • @KateBunting How will the meaning change if we remove "from"?: The children were spared the virus. Thanks.
    – Loviii
    Apr 5, 2023 at 14:42
  • 1
    It won't change. Apr 5, 2023 at 15:05

1 Answer 1

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I think the examples in OP's cited dictionary aren't very carefully curated. We don't normally include from between to be spared and whatever bad thing the subject didn't have to undergo...

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The specific collocation spared [from] the virus doesn't occur often enough to chart in Google NGrams, but spared [from] the disease is a close enough alternative...

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The meaning is the same with or without from, but at least some people (including me, obviously! :) will think it's a bit "clunky" to include it.

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