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  1. #1
    JACEK1 is offline Member
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    Default difference in meaning between crack, break and fracture (verbs, nouns)

    Hello one more time!

    Could someone tell me what is the difference in meaning between crack, break and fracture (verbs, nouns)?

    • to crack means to break without causing material to be separated from another material
    • to break means to cause such separation of material
    • to fracture means to break (cause separation) in terms of something hard or heavy.


    All the three definitions are very confusing. Could you straighten them out for me?
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: difference in meaning between crack, break and fracture (verbs, nouns)

    The definitions seem clear enough.

    Why don't you try writing some sample sentences of your own?

    Rover

  3. #3
    JACEK1 is offline Member
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    Default Re: difference in meaning between crack, break and fracture (verbs, nouns)

    They are not clear enough for me. I am not a native speaker of English, that is why I would be grateful if somebody could provide a confirmation that I am right or wrong in understanding the difference between crack, break and fracture.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: difference in meaning between crack, break and fracture (verbs, nouns)

    Quote Originally Posted by JACEK1 View Post
    They are not clear enough for me. I am not a native speaker of English, that is why I would be grateful if somebody could provide a confirmation that I am right or wrong in understanding the difference between crack, break and fracture.
    We would be happy to. That is why Rover suggested you write some sample sentences of your own. We will then be able to confirm that you have understood, or point out where you have misunderstood.

  5. #5
    JACEK1 is offline Member
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    Default Re: difference in meaning between crack, break and fracture (verbs, nouns)

    1. The mirror has cracked - although there are some small defects, the whole structure is still in one piece.
    2. I broke my leg while playing football - my leg was broken into pieces - it is probably also possible to say I fractured my leg while playing football.
    3. He fractured his ankle in the fall - the same as he fractured his ankle in the fall.


    Sometimes "fracture" is used to mean "break" and sometime is understood to mean "crack".

  6. #6
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: difference in meaning between crack, break and fracture (verbs, nouns)

    Quote Originally Posted by JACEK1 View Post
    1. The mirror has cracked - although there are some small defects, the whole structure is still in one piece.
    2. I broke my leg while playing football - my leg was broken into pieces (legs don't break into pieces while playing football) - it is probably also possible to say 'I fractured my leg while playing football'.
    3. He fractured his ankle in the fall. Possible, but 'broke' is more natural here.

    'The vase broke when it fell off the shelf.'

    'The mechanical digger went too deep and fractured the town's main sewer.'

    Rover

  7. #7
    JACEK1 is offline Member
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    Default Re: difference in meaning between crack, break and fracture (verbs, nouns)

    You may as well write 'The mechanical digger went too deep and broke the town's main sewer.'

    Could you give me some rules for using "crack, break and fracture" or circumstances under which they can be used?

  8. #8
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: difference in meaning between crack, break and fracture (verbs, nouns)

    There are no rules — just usage guidelines based on what you quoted in message #1.

  9. #9
    JACEK1 is offline Member
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    Default Re: difference in meaning between crack, break and fracture (verbs, nouns)

    Does "fracture" always mean "break something hard and stiff; break a bone"?
    Are "fracture" and "break" interchangeable?

  10. #10
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: difference in meaning between crack, break and fracture (verbs, nouns)

    Quote Originally Posted by JACEK1 View Post
    Does "fracture" always mean "break something hard and stiff; break a bone"? Usually. I'm not going to say 'always'.

    Are "fracture" and "break" interchangeable? Sometimes. 'Fracture' is the medical term for 'break' in the case of bones. A hospital department will be called a 'fracture clinic'. Serious bone breaks are called 'fractures' — such as 'a fractured skull or pelvis' and a 'compound fracture'. In common parlance I'd say 'I broke my leg last week'.
    Rover

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