- break smth down (into) – ‘to divide something into parts in order to analyze it or make it easier to do’
Each section is broken down into several units.
- break into (a place) – ‘to get into a place illegally by force’
He had his car broken into last week.
- break smth off– 1. ‘to break a piece from something using force’,
I broke off a piece of chocolate.
2. ‘to end something suddenly’ (e.g. relationships)
They’ve broken off their diplomatic relationships.
- break through smth- ‘to make a way through something using force’, e.g. a barrier
The demonstrators broke through the police cordon.
- break out of (a place) – ‘to escape from somewhere’
The prisoners broke out of the jail.
- break away – ‘to leave something’ (e.g. a political party)
A few members of the community broke away.
(+ break away from smb – to escape suddenly from smb)
- break down – 1. ‘to stop working’ (referring to a machine or vehicle),
The elevator broke down, so I had to climb the stairs to the 10th floor.
2. ‘to become very upset’ (referring to a person), to lose control of your feelings and start crying
She broke down when she heard the news.
- break in – 1. ‘interrupt a conversation’ (+ break in on smb’s conversation/chat).
Please, stop breaking in while I’m speaking.
He wanted to break in on the conversation but thought to himself it would be bad manners.
2. ‘to get into a place illegally by force’ (=break into a place)
The robbers broke in at night.
- break off – ‘to suddenly stop speaking or doing something’
She suddenly broke off when John came in.
- break out – ‘to begin’ (about something dangerous or unpleasant, e.g. a war, epidemic, a fight, a fire)
A fight was about to break out.
- break through – ‘to make new and important discoveries’
Doctors are beginning to break through in developing a vaccine.
- break up – 1. when a person who is talking on a mobile phone breaks up, you can no longer hear them clearly because the signal has been interrupted
Can you repeat it? You’re breaking up.
2. ‘to finish a romantic relationship with someone’ (+ with smb = break with)
They broke up after a row.