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HI, I’m Joel and welcome to Phrasal Verb Time. The phrasal verb I want to talk to you about right now is “break down.”
This phrasal verb can have at least 3 different meanings. Number 1 – to break down can mean to stop functioning or stop working. Now, this usually has to do with some type of machine if you want to talk about it in this way. It’s not usually about a person. So, you could say, “I was driving and my car broke down.” “I hope my car doesn’t break down on the highway.” So, if you’re talking about a car in this case, “break down” would mean it stops driving – it stops working. So, you’re driving and your car breaks down. So you have to stop your car and pull it onto the side of the road.
Another meaning would be to break down an obstacle or to remove an obstacle. I just used a phrasal verb right there. So let’s say that there’s a wall… Maybe you’re watching a movie back in the days when they had city walls. So, an army goes and they attack and they break down the wall. They remove the wall. They tear it down. They destroy it.
And a 3rd possible meaning would be to begin to cry. I can say, “I was at the hospital and I was talking to the nurse and suddenly I broke down.” Or, “She was talking about her sick parents and she broke down.” That means she was talking about her sick parents and she began to cry.”
Well, I hope this phrasal verb was helpful. If you’d like to see more lessons of mine or schedule a private conversational lesson with me, you can visit my website at http://worldenglishteacher.com
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