Hi there. Today we’re going to look at 20 English collocations with Break.
First of all, let’s repeat quickly what is a collocation. A collocation is a specific arrangement of words that has a certain meaning.
Are you ready? So let’s get started.
20 Collocations with Break
BREAK INTO A RUN
to start running
Example: When Jenny saw her grandma, she broke into a run.
BREAK A HABIT
to stop doing something that is habit, particularly a bad habit or routine
Example: Sarah quit smoking two months ago, she broke a habit she’s had for more than half of her life.
BREAK THE BANK
to cost a lot of money
Example: This dress is not on sale, but still only £25 full price so it won’t exactly break the bank.
to make neither a profit nor a loss
Example: The shop hadn’t made money since it reopened and we’ll be lucky to break even after it is sold.
BREAK FRESH GROUND
to discover something new in the area of knowledge
Example: His work broke fresh ground for performance art.
BREAK GROUND WITH SOMETHING
to make a start
Example: We’re hoping break ground with a brand-new technology.
BREAK THE ICE
to say or do something that relaxes the atmosphere and make people more friendly towards each other
Example: Sam always knows how to break the ice and get people feeling relaxed.
BREAK THE NEWS
to tell someone about something (usually bad) that has just happened which will affect them personally
Example: I crashed Dad’s car over the weekend but I haven’t broken the news to him yet.
BREAK THE SPELL
to spoil something, to bring something special to an end
Example: Our eyes met and my heart leapt. Then, she blinked and broke the spell.
BREAK A BONE
to have a fracture in your bone (arm, leg)
Example: She broke a bone in her hand when she fell off the horse.
Collocations with Break - Infographic
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BREAK A RECORD
to do something better or faster than it has been done before
Example: Avengers Endgame has broken all the records at the box office.
BREAK YOUR HEART
to say or to do something that makes someone feel very sad. To end a relationship with someone by telling them that you are not in love with them anymore
Example: He loved her and she broke his heart by lying to him.
BREAK THE RULES
to do something that is not allowed by the rules
Example: It’s simple, he broke the rules and should be punished accordingly.
BREAK A WINDOW
to make a crack in the window
Example: Somebody broke the window last night.
BREAK THE SILENCE
to end a silent period by starting talking or making noise
Example: I broke the silence by saying something silly about the weather.
BREAK IN TWO
to break something in two parts
Example: She broke it in two and gave me half to eat.
BREAK YOUR BACK
to put a lot of effort into achieving something
Example: I was breaking my back doing this stinking job.
BREAK THE BACK OF
to complete the hardest or main part of an exercise, project, assignment, etc
Example: Today, they finally broke the back of this tricky composition.
BREAK YOUR FALL
to stop someone from falling down
Example: The falling man landed directly on top of the donkey, which broke his fall.
BREAK A CODE
to figure out a secret code so that you are able to read the message
Example: We broke the secret code yesterday. By accident, almost.
For more information on English phrasal verbs, English Grammar Rules and English idiomatic expressions, check out the following links:
Free resources can always be found on BBC Learning English.