Shined vs. shone

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The verb shine has two main definitions: (1) to emit light, and (2) to cause to gleam by polishing. In its first sense, shine traditionally becomes shone in the past tense and as a past participle. In its second sense, shine is traditionally inflected shined. So, for example, we might say, “The sun shone brightly while I shined my shoes.” 

In 21st-century writing, however, the distinction is increasingly fuzzy, and shined is often used where shone would be the traditional inflection. Shone rarely appears in place of shined, though.



A 13-year-old boy needed hospital treatment after a laser pen was shone in his eyes in Eastwood. [BBC News]

A return trip to the store shone the light on what I needed: Leeks. [Denver Post]


Shearer doesn’t look like he belongs ensconced in dark-green leather and spit-shined oak. [Washington Post]

They shined the marble. [National Post]

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