Phrasal Verbs with the word “break”
1. To “Break Up”
When people decide to end their relationship you can say that they have decided to ‘break up’. You can also use ‘break up’ as a verb, i.e. my parents are going though a break up at the moment so they are not living together.
E.g. Juan and Maria have been together for 5 years, but they recently decided to break up because they didn’t love each other anymore.
2. To “Break Down”
When a person is very, very stressed and upset, they may reach a point where they feel they can no longer continue. They may ‘break down’ and start crying, as they feel helpless and lost. ‘Break down’ can be used as a verb or as a noun.
E.g. I was working in a really stressful environment with a really bad boss and awful working conditions. Eventually, I had a a break down. I was crying and shaking, it was terrible.
3. To “Break In”
When a robber/thief/criminal enters a property with the intention of stealing things, you can say that they are ‘breaking in’.
E.g. There was a break in at my uncle’s house last night. The thief broke into the house by smashing a window.
4. To “Break Out”
Do you ever get spots on your face? It’s awful, isn’t it. Sometimes your skin has more spots that usual, this is called a ‘break out’.
E.g. I really sad because I am going to a party tonight and my face is having a break out.
5. To “Break Off”
Imagine you have a huge piece of chocolate; you need to ‘break off’ a small piece so that you can fit it into your mouth. Mmmmmm….chooooocolate!
E.g. Would you please break off a piece of chocolate for me? It looks delicious!
6. A “Breakthrough”
When you have been trying to do something for a long period of time, and you finally manage to do it, you can say that you have had a “breakthrough”. A breakthrough is a discovery of great importance.
E.g. The scientists have made an important breakthrough and have finally found a cure for cancer!
7. To “Break Even”
Sometimes you spend a lot of money in an attempt to make more money. But this doesn’t always work; sometimes you only make as much money as you have already spent. This means that you have “broke even”.
E.g. I spent €100 trying to start my new chocolate business, but in the first month I only manage to break even. I spent €100 on material, but I only made €100 in sales. .I’m very sad; it was a lot of work for nothing.