English Phrasal Verbs BREAK IN – BREAK UP (Updated for 2018 with video + interactive QUIZ!)


2 English Phrasal Verbs with BREAK

*Use this video to help your pronunciation too! During the video listen to the example sentences and then use the time after you listen to repeat the sentence for pronunciation practice. If you are in a public place, like a cafe or a park it’s okay to just repeat the sentence in your head!

Here’s why repeating practice with full sentence examples is great! Even though the focus of the video is learning a phrasal verb, you are also hearing adjectives, idioms, prepositions and more used in natural English. This is very helpful! It’s how we learn our own native languages! We hear it in natural use.

Why are phrasal verbs important?

Phrasal verbs are extremely common in casual English, learning to use phrasal verbs correctly will help you sound natural in casual conversation.

“Phrasal verbs are important because they are extremely common in informal English, and unless you are familiar with their meanings, understanding informal language will be difficult. In addition, learning to use phrasal verbs correctly will help you sound natural in casual conversation.”

Jane Mairs, Director of English language Learning Publishing

The best way to learn the definitions is to listen to the phrasal verbs with sentences. I will list the verbs and then give you natural example sentences that you can use right away. 

 
break in = force entry to a building or car etc.
 
“The window is cracked! It looks like a robber tried to break in.”
 
 
“You shouldn’t leave valuables in your car, someone might break in and steal them.”
 
 
 
valuablesnoun – things that are worth a lot of money, especially small personal things
such as jewellery, cameras, etc.
“Never leave cash or other valuables lying around.”
 
 
“Somebody BROKE INTO our office last night and stole my laptop!”
 
 
*When we use the building (place) in our sentence, BREAK IN  becomes BREAK INTO.
Let’s change the grammar of our second example:
 
 
“You shouldn’t leave valuables out in the open, someone might break into your car and steal them.”
 
 
break in = interrupt 
 
 
“She wanted to BREAK IN on their conversation but didn’t want to seem rude.”
 
 
 
 
 
seemlinking verb
seem (to somebody) (to be) something to give the impression of being or doing something
synonym appear

+ adj. You seem happy.
Do whatever seems best to you.
She didn’t want to seem rude.
 
break in = to wear something, especially new shoes, until they become comfortable
 
 
 
stiffadjective
difficult to bend/move
~ stiff cardboard
~ a stiff brush
 
 
break up = end a relationship. 
 
“My girlfriend and I broke up before I moved to Australia.”
 
 
“I saw Harry and Brenda arguing in the park yesterday. It was serious. I think they’re gonna break up!”
 
 
 
 argue verb
to speak angrily to somebody because you disagree with them
My brothers are always arguing.
 
 
Break (something) up – to make people leave something or stop doing something
 
“I saw some kids fighting so I had to step in and break it up.” it = the fight
 
 
“I hate to break up your conversation but we have to go Mike.”
 
 
break up = start laughing (informal). 
 
 
 
“Everyone broke up laughing as soon as the monkey started dancing.”
 
Short QUIZ!
Break IN or Break UP?
 
 
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