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Thread: multiple-choice

  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    multiple-choice

    Which is the correct choice?
    Peace talks between the two countries have______with no agreement reached.
    A.broken down B.broken up

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Use broken down there. We would use broken up to refer to emotional upset. Example: "He was all broken up because of his girlfriend leaving him."

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    Re: multiple-choice

    Quote Originally Posted by brightchina
    Which is the correct choice?
    Peace talks between the two countries have______with no agreement reached.
    A.broken down B.broken up

    I agree with RonBee and add,

    break down refers to something that is not up and running (not working), like a machine or a break down in communication, and even a break down in one's thinking patterns (e.g. He had a nervous break down after his father died). Broken up, as RonBee points out, can refer to an emotional upset, like when a couple splits up (e.g. Pat and Sam dated for 3 years and then one day they broke up (they broke the ties of their relationship). Break up can also refer to breaking the ties of something, for example, the meeting broke up at 4:00.

    :D

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I'd say it depended on whether the talks lasted the intended duration or not, and how serious the issue was. If they collapsed, then I'd ude 'down'. If they didn't manage to reach agreement in time, but weren't necessarily angry or not intending to continue at a later date, I'd use 'up'.

  5. #5
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    English is a funny language. While we might say that a relationhip broke up or that a meeting broke up, we would usually say that talks (or negotiations) broke down.

    Hm.

    8)

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    There's a logic there somewhere. I guess. well, on second thoughts, ummm ;-|

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    There's a logic there somewhere. I guess. well, on second thoughts, ummm ;-|

    I like what RonBee added. Furthermore,

    Peace talks broke down. (break in communication)
    The peace talks meeting broke up (break in time).

    :D

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    That's how I see it.

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