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Phrasal verbs "to break"

Phrasal verbs "to break"

Date: Oct 03 2007

Topic: Vocabulary

Author: rhyme_reason


using the verb 'to break ' combined with particles:

'to break away' means to stop being part of a group because you disagree with them.

  • Several members broke away and formed their own group.
  • Some of the members of the party disagreed with their policy and broke away to form their own party.

'to break away' also means to separate or move away from someone who is holding you.

  • She broke away from her mother and ran out of the room.
  • Although he was holding her by the arms, she managed to break away.

'to break down' is used when a machine or vehicle stops working.

  • We broke down about two kilometres out of town and had to walk home.
  • This machine is very old and is always breaking down. We need to change it.

'to break down' is also used when a discussion or arrangement fails due to disagreement.

  • Talks have broken down. They are unable to reach an agreement.
  • Negotiations broke down when the unions turned down the company's latest offer.

'to break down' an idea or work means to separate it into small pieces in order to deal with it more easily.

  • If you break down the big jobs into individual tasks, they are much more manageable.
  • We have broken the costs down by area so we can see what regions are less profitable.

'to break down' also is used when someone starts crying uncontrollably or becomes very ill when they cannot cope with their problems.

  • When we told her what had happened she broke down and cried.
  • When she broke down after a long period of stress and was hospitalised for several months.

'to break in' means to enter a property by force or illegally.

  • Burglars have broken into several properties in the area recently.
  • They broke in through the window and stole jewellery, cash and my laptop.

'to break in' also means to interrupt someone when they are speaking.

  • As usual, when I was talking, she broke in and didn't let me finish my story.
  • We were talking about Ralph when Sue broke in and said we didn't know anything about him.

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