Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Break (Out)

  1. #1
    PamDam is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Indonesian
      • Home Country:
      • Indonesia
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like

    Arrow Break (Out)

    I was reading an old story:

    "Inspector Diane Groomes of the 3rd Police District, who was on the scene early today, said members of the group also broke out the windows of some restaurants and at least one bank in the 1700 and 1800 blocks of Columbia Road, a popular strip of restaurants and clubs."

    "Broke the windows" is understandable enough for me. But what does "out" add to "broke"?

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Break (Out)

    Quote Originally Posted by PamDam View Post
    "Broke the windows" is understandable enough for me. But what does "out" add to "broke"?
    It sounds odd to me, but it could suggest that the windows were completely smashed, with all the glass, and possibly some of the frame, ending up in the street.

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    23,796
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Break (Out)

    I find it unusual too. "Broke" or "smashed" would have been sufficient. I also think it's odd that they chose "broke out". To me, in order to "break something out" you have to be in somewhere in the first place. I think the people who smashed those windows were outside the restaurants and the bank and the windows were in fact "broken in" (if anything), with the glass ending up inside the building.

    I would use "break out" in the following contexts:

    1) I won a gold medal. Break out the champagne! = meaning "Get the champagne out and pop the cork!"
    2) I am going to break out of prison = I am going to escape from prison.
    3) If I eat more chocolate, I'll break out in spots = spots will appear on my face (if you suddenly get spots (pimples in AmE), it's described as a "breakout".)

Similar Threads

  1. comfort break and break
    By Ju in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 21-Mar-2011, 13:06
  2. [General] break with/ break through/ break out/ break down/
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-Apr-2010, 18:58
  3. Break up with or break up on
    By Smoking hot in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-Jan-2010, 01:57
  4. break up, break down
    By joham in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-Apr-2008, 08:11
  5. "break the jam" vs. "break the ice"
    By nyggus in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 16-Mar-2006, 04:08

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •