Como usar este phrasal verb: Break down; up

Break down

Literal definition: break + down = to hit or apply pressure to something until if collapses or surrenders

The firefighters had to break the door down to get into the burning building.

The police interrogation finally broke down the murder suspect.


Figurative definition 1: break down = to dismantle or examine by separating something into smaller, simpler parts

After the band’s concert it took them only an hour to break down the set.

The professor was a master at breaking down the difficult concepts for the students to understand.


Figurative definition 2: break down = to stop running or functioning

When the elevator broke down we had to use the stairs for a week!

If you don’t get regular maintenance on your car you risk breaking down on the side of the road.


Figurative definition 3: break down = to suffer a mental or emotional collapse

When Zoe heard the news of her father’s death she broke down.

The stress from Richard’s job was so intense that it simply caused him to break down, and he had to call in sick for a few days.


Break up

Figurative definition 1: break + up = to separate into many pieces or come apart completely

Most asteroids break up and burn up upon entering the earth’s atmosphere.

He broke up the chocolate bar so everyone could have a piece.


Figurative definition 1: break up = to cause a close relationship or crowd assembly to end or separate

Many couples break up simply because they do not communicate enough.

The band broke up last year.

The police broke up the riots by using tear gas.


Figurative definition 2: break up = to be unclear due to technical difficulties

I’m sorry, can you say that again. The signal was breaking up.

The signal broke up when the storm passed.


Figurative definition 3: break up = to cause a separation or pause in a pattern

The solid colour breaks up the stripes on the shirt.

He broke up his difficult day by taking lots of quick breaks.


18/05/2018Level - difficulty 2Great BritainVideo3 min