English Idiom – Give me a break!

Give me a break!

This is a commonly used expression in English. When you say Give me a break! it means it’s difficult to believe something, you can’t believe that it is true. We take a break (take a rest) when we are working or doing something that makes us tired.

Let’s look at a few examples in conversation:

“Hector got the promotion? Oh give me a break! I’ve been working here twice as long as he has.”

“I waited in line for 10 minutes and now you tell me you’re out of coffee? Is this a joke? Give me a break! How does a cafe run out of coffee at 10:00 A.M.?”

“You’re out of coffee? Gimme a break! This is a cafe!!!! How can you be out of coffee!?!?”

Give me a break can also mean give me another chance or don’t be so strict or strong.

“Please boss don’t yell at me, this is the first time I have been late. Give me a break please!”

Give me a break is often spoken in the contracted (shortened) form as gimme a break. “Gimme a break” was the title of a 30 minute sitcom in North America popular in the 1980’s.

sitcom is short for situation comedy. In English we use the term sitcom to mean a 30 minute comedy TV series.

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