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Collocations With The Word Break

Video Overview

In this video, we explain the meaning of popular everyday common words that go with the verb 'break', including: break a promise, break the news, break even, break the rules, breakthrough, break a record. Collocations improve fluency and are useful in spoken and business English.

Video Analysis

'Break' is one of the most common words in the English language, and is most known for its literal meaning which is to crack, smash, separate, or damage something, like a window or a bone in your body. However, it can also be used in a figurative way by taking the idea of separation and applying it to different contexts.

Using some examples from the video, we can see that when you 'break a promise,' you figuratively separate what you said you would do from what you actually did, when you 'break the rules,' your actions are separate from what is permitted, when you 'break a habit,' you separate yourself from something, usually something bad, that has become part of your routine, when you 'break up' with somebody, you end your relationship with or separate yourself from that person.

However, as the video also shows, collocations with 'break' are very common in both a social and professional context, and not all of them can be linked back to the word's literal meaning. For example, you can 'break the news' to somebody by revealing information to them, or 'break the ice' by doing something to relieve awkwardness or tension in a social situation.


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