Фразовые выражения с глаголами Break и Bring. Как их употреблять?

Среда 11 июля 2018

110718Успех овладения иностранным языком зависит не только от уровня владения грамматикой, но также от знания вокабуляра. Увеличение словарного запаса обеспечивается полисемантичными словами, которых в английском языке множество. Фразы с предлогами или так называемые фразовые глаголы особо интересны.

настроение:  оптимистичное

ключевые слова:  полисемантичный, фразовые глаголы, фразовые выражения, носитель языка, определения носителя языка, задания

город:   Балашиха

The success of mastering a foreign language depends not only on the level of grammar, but also on the vocabulary. Enlarging of the vocabulary is due to polysemantic words. In English the number of polysemantic words is high. Prepositional phrases, the so-called phrasal verbs are of particular interest.

The preposition radically changes the meaning of a word, so  phrasal verbs represent a certain complexity for those who learn English. The knowledge of phrasal verbs is checked in all tests for obtaining certificates. Also, the requirement for knowledge of phrasal verbs is presented by a new type of control of the USE, which explains the relevance of a chosen topic.
Let’s take a look for two phrasal verbs that are often used in speech and in different types of tests: BREAK (broke/broken) and BRING (brought/brought).

BREAK DOWN There are 3 definitions. The first one is “to stop working, for example, in machines”. If a car breaks down, that means the car has stopped working. That’s why you cannot use it. The same thing if your TV breaks down or your computer breaks down. The second definition says “to have a medical or physical collapse”. This is said about a person. As people are getting older, their bodies are breaking down. Also, their minds begin to break down.  Another way could be. Imagine that you’ve got a lot of stress at work. You can’t sleep, you can’t eat properly. So, you can say “I’m starting to break down because of stress or being overworked”. The third definition says “to separate into parts”. If Al goes to a restaurant with friends and he orders some food and some drinks. After the waiter brings them the bill, they want to break the bill down into different parts:  how much Al will pay, how much she will pay, he will pay. So they can break the bill down into parts. So, that means to separate something into different parts.

110718_1BREAK UP has the definition “to end a (romantic) relationship”. So, if your girlfriend and you break up, that means you’ll stop dating and you are not a couple anymore”. It is not only about romantic relationships. Many years ago the Beatles broke down. This means they stopped being the band, stopped making music together.

BREAK IN has got 2 definitions. The first one says “to enter somewhere by force”. If you say “someone broke in”, this means somebody entered your apartment and they tried to steal something – probably, money or jewelry etc. So, “when somebody breaks in, that means that usually a bad guy like a criminal broke in and tried to steal something probably from my house” — explains the native speaker from www.mapleleafesl.com.

The third definition is “to begin using or wearing something until it becomes comfortable”. This is a common expression. The best example is shoes. So, when you buy new shoes, usually the first couple of days or the first couples of weeks the shoes are very uncomfortable. But after you wear them a few times then they are comfortable. So, you usually have to break in new shoes. Another good example would be jeans. The first time you wear a new pair of jeans they feel stiff and they are really uncomfortable. But after you break them in, after you wear them a few times or wash them once or twice, then they are more comfortable and they are less stiff.

BREAK OFF has got 2 definitions. The first one says “to suddenly stop or discontinue”. Andrew, the native speaker from www.mapleleafesl.com, says, “Imagine, I’m at the party and I’m talking with friends and then my phone rings. So, I will break off conversation with my friends to enter my phone.” That’s why the definition says that it’s usually suddenly. So, “you break off the conversation” means that you suddenly stop the conversation. The second definition says “to sever or become separated”. For example, if you have a piece of chocolate and you want to give a piece of chocolate to your friend, you will break off a piece of chocolate and give it to your friend.

BREAK OUT has got 2 definitions. The first one says “to escape”.  If a prisoner (a person in jail) breaks out of jail, that means they escape from jail. That is how this phrase works. You can also escape from a country. So, you could say “He broke out of a country”. The second definition says “to spread quickly”. And this is usually something negative like a virus or a disease. If a disease spreads quickly, we can say “The disease broke out”. So, if something spreads quickly, if something breaks out, it’s usually something negative.

BREAK INTO has got 2 definitions. The first one says “to enter somewhere by force”. This definition we can see in “break in” phrase. But there’s a small difference. We say “someone broke in” but we can’t say “someone broke into”. “Break into” must take an object.  The next definition for “break into” is “to be admitted into” or “to be allowed to enter a profession or a business”.  And a good example would be “breaking into Hollywood”. Not everybody is allowed to enter Hollywood. Speaking about a profession, not everybody can become a lawyer or a doctor.  So you need to break into a legal profession or break into a medical profession. So, you have to be admitted or allowed to those professions.

To sum up, we should remember the meanings of BREAK phrases.

BREAK DOWN a)      to stop working (about machines)

b)      to have a medical or physical collapse

c)      to separate into parts

BREAK IN a)      to enter somewhere by force

b)      to begin using or wearing something  until it becomes comfortable

BREAK OFF a)      to suddenly stop or discontinue

b)      to sever or become separated

BREAK OUT a)      to escape

b)      to spread quickly

BREAK INTO a)      to enter somewhere by force

b)      to be admitted into

BREAK UP a)      to end a (romantic) relationship


This table can be used for making a test for students to check their knowledge of BREAK DOWN, BREAK UP, BREAK IN, BREAK OUT, BREAK INTO, BREAK OFF.

Here are the examples how to use the verb BREAK in speech.

1.      My car broke down on the way to work. =  stopped working
2.      His body was breaking down after working too hard.


=  was having a medical or physical collapse
3.      Let’s break down this table before we move it.


=  separate into parts
4.      Chris broke up with his girlfriend last week.


=  ended a romantic relationship


5.      A man wearing black clothing broke in last night. =  entered somewhere by force
6.      It took 3 weeks to break in my new shoes.


=  to begin using or wearing (shoes)  until it becomes comfortable
7.      After I found out he lied to me, I broke off all the relations with him.


=  suddenly stopped


8.      She broke off a piece of her sandwich and gave it to her friend.


=  severed
9.      The killer broke out of jail yesterday.


=  escaped
10.  Ebola broke out in West Africa in 2014.


=  spread quickly
11.  Tom Cruise broke into Hollywood in the early 1980s.


=  was admitted (in)


Let’s explore 5 phrasal verbs commonly used with the verb BRING.

BRING UP has 2 definitions for it. The first definition is to care or to care for during childhood.  So, if Sam was raised by his parents, he can say “I was brought up by my parents. Another thing is we could say “He was brought up in Canada”. It is said if he is from Canada, he spent his childhood in Canada.  The second definition is to introduce or mention for discussion. The native speaker explains: “Imagine, I’m sitting around with my friends and we are talking about music.  And while talking, one of my friends mentioned the Beatles, his favourite band. And he wants to discuss the Beatles. So, we could say “One of my friends brought up the Beatles. However, one thing to remember with the verb BRING UP is that it has not a nuance of being something negative. Imagine, I have an embarrassing story and I don’t like it when my friends talk about this story. But I have one friend and he always likes to mention this embarrassing story. So, I can say “He always brings up this embarrassing story”. So, if he is bringing up a story, it means that it is probably something I don’t want to talk about or I don’t want to hear”. There is a common phrase – “Stop bringing that up”. It means “Stop talking about that, stop mentioning it because I don’t like it”.

BRING IN has 1 definition for it — to earn as profit or income.  So, if we think about a company like Apple, we could say “The i-phone brings in a lot of money for Apple.” Or “The i-pad may bring in a lot of profit for Apple”. But it doesn’t have to be just a company. We can also say “bring in” when we say about ourselves.” Imagine, you have a part-time job and your part-time job doesn’t pay you so much money. So, you can say that your part-time job doesn’t bring in so much money.

BRING DOWN has 3 definitions for it. The first one is to lessen or reduce. With this definition we usually talk about prices or cast. Anytime a company brings its prices down, they are just reducing their prices. The second definition for bring down is to kill or cause to lose power. The military brought down Saddam Hussein. That means the military caused Saddam Hussein to lose power. So, they took him out of power. They brought him down. “To kill” in the definition does not always mean “kill”. It also means “defeat”.  Imagine, John is playing in a sports game and he says to a person in another team “I am going to bring you down”.  So, that means he doesn’t want to kill a person, he is going to defeat him. One more definition for bring down is to disappoint or cause depression. Imagine, you were in a really good mood, you were happy. Then you hear a sad song on the radio. And that song brought you down. It made your spirits low. So, when something wrong happens and makes you feel sad or may your spirits go low you use “bring down”. For example, you watched a sad movie or, may be, you have just heard your dog was hit by a car. It really will bring you down.

BRING ABOUT has 1 definition. It is to cause (something) to happen. Usually when we use this expression, we usually say something like “to bring about change”.  For example when we say about September, 11th in New York, we say “September 11 brought about major world change”.  So, 11.09 caused some major changes to happen.

BRING OUT has 2 definitions for it.  The first one is to cause someone to behave in a certain way. In this case we usually say something like “It brings out the best in me” or “She brings out the best in me”. If your girlfriend always causes you to behave in a responsible way and a positive way, we can say “My girl friend brings out the best in me”. Let’s examine the next example.  Some people when they wear a tie or a suit, it changes their behavior a little bit. We can say “Every time I wear a suit, it brings out the serious side in me”. “Bring out” can be used when we talk about as positive as negative things.  We can say “This person brings out the worst in me”. That means that the person causes me to behave in my worst way possible. The next definition is to reveal or expose. After John Lennon died, there were many books written about John Lennon. Some of these new books brought out new details and new facts about John Lennon’s life.  We can say “These books reveal or expose new facts about John Lennon”. So, if something brings out, it means to reveal to expose.

To sum up, we should remember the meanings of BRING phrases.

BRING UP a)      to care or to care for during childhood

b)      to introduce or mention for discussion

BRING IN a)      to earn as profit or income
BRING DOWN a)      to lessen or reduce

b)      to kill or cause to lose power

c)      to disappoint or cause depression

BRING ABOUT a)      to cause (something) to happen
BRING OUT a)      to cause someone to behave in a certain way

b)      to reveal or expose

Here are the examples how to use BRING in speech.

1.      My friend was brought up in Japan. =  was raised
2.      Please, don’t bring up anything about last night in front of my parents. =  don’t mention anything (about negative things)
3.      His job brings in enough money to support his family. =  earns him
4.      Shops usually bring down their prices after Christmas. =  reduce
5.      The scandal will bring down the president. =  will cause the president to lose his power or lose his job
6.      Losing the championship game brought everyone down. =  made everyone’s spirits go down and made everyone feel sad or depressed
7.      A new government should help bring about change. =  cause change
8.      Going to Disneyland brings out the child in everyone. =  makes you feel like a kid
9.      The article in today’s newspaper brought out many interesting facts about the war. =  revealed or exposed
10.  What brought on your allergies?

11.  I think the pollen in the air brought them on.

=  caused

=  cased my allergies

How to train students in using phrasal verbs and make the process of learning amazing and effective? The first idea in my mind was about making a presentation with photos and pictures.

Task 1. Look at the photo and fill in the gaps with suitable prepositions (IN / DOWN / OFF / IN / INTO / OUT)


The ANSWERS (for teachers): 1) Break in   2) Break down   3) Break down   4) Break down 5)   Break in   6) Break down

110718_3The ANSWERS: 7) Break off   8) Break out   9) Break off   10) Break out   11) Break into   12) Break into

Task 2 can be the task of matching the phrasal expressions to their definitions. It can be interactive and have a motivating effect in learning the vocabulary.

Task 3 Choose the right form and use the suitable phrasal expression with BRING transforming the words written in bold.

  • My friend was raised in Japan.             (brought up)
  • Please, don’t mention anything about last night in front of my parents. (bring up)
  • His job earns him enough money to support his family.             (brings in)
  • Shops usually reduce their prices after Christmas.                         (bring down)
  • The scandal will cause the president to lose his power or lose his job. (bring down)
  • Losing the championship game made everyone’s spirits go down and            

made everyone feel sad or depressed.                                                               (brought everyone down)

  • A new government should help cause                                    (bring about)
  • Going to Disneyland makes you feel like a kid the child in everyone. (brings out)
  • The article in today’s newspaper revealed many interesting facts about the war. (brought out)
  • What caused your allergies?

— I think the pollen in the air cased them.                                                          (brought them on)

To sum up, many English verbs can be followed by prepositions or adverb particles. These combinations are often called phrasal verbs. There are numerous phrasal verbs in English. It is not easy to learn all of them; it is not necessary either. However, students must be familiar with the most important ones.


Английский язык. 9 класс: учебник для общеобразовательных учреждений. Серия Spotlight/ Ю.Е. Ваулина, Э.Эванс и др. – М.: Express publishing. Просвещение, 2010. – 216 с.






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