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    #1

    What's the difference among these three concepts and verbs?

    1) the cover of this book is coming off.
    2) the cover of this book is coming apart.
    3) the cover of this book is breaking off.

    Do they all mean that the cover is too old and weak so we have to be careful when using the book?
    Or are there other slight differences of meaning in these three sentences?

    Thanks so much for your help.

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    #2

    Re: What's the difference among these three concepts and verbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by dilodi83 View Post
    1) the cover of this book is coming off. The cover is becoming separated/apart from from the book.
    2) the cover of this book is coming apart. Only the cover is becoming damaged.
    3) the cover of this book is breaking off. Could be either of the two possibilities above.

    Do they all mean that the cover is too old and weak so we have to be careful when using the book? The reason/cause is not identified, so the solution can not be determined..
    Or are there other slight differences of meaning in these three sentences? As noted above.

    Thanks so much for your help.
    b.

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    #3

    Re: What's the difference among these three concepts and verbs?

    I see it slightly differently.

    To me, a book cover that's "coming apart" is losing its integrity -- perhaps separating down the middle -- as opposed to "coming off": separating from the rest of the book.

    I wouldn't use "breaking off" to describe a book cover, as it's more appropriate in other scenarios that often involve nature. ("Struggling to escape the raging river, he clung to an overhanging branch until it began breaking off.")

    (As my name implies, I'm a journalist, not a teacher.)

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    #4

    Re: What's the difference among these three concepts and verbs?

    Thanks so much for your help...it's very useful to me
    so you'd use "to break off" for everything connected with nature...but what about this use of "to break off"?
    Ex. Sandra decided to break off a slice of bread and to put it onto the table.
    In this case, the meanig of the verbs is always to make something (bread in this case) into small pieces...and it's not about nature... I'd be glad to know what you think about it.

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    #5

    Re: What's the difference among these three concepts and verbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by dilodi83 View Post
    Thanks so much for your help...it's very useful to me
    so you'd use "to break off" for everything connected with nature...but what about this use of "to break off"?
    Ex. Sandra decided to break off a slice of bread and to put it onto the table.
    In this case, the meanig of the verbs is always to make something (bread in this case) into small pieces...and it's not about nature... I'd be glad to know what you think about it.
    If I had a baguette (a French bread stick) and didn't want to use a knife, then yes, I would "break off some bread". However, I wouldn't "break off a slice". A slice of bread has either been pre-cut so you would just take the slice out the packet, or you slice it yourself using a bread knife, resulting in a slice. If you break it off by hand, then you end up with "a piece" or a "chunk" or, less commonly, "a hunk".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #6

    Re: What's the difference among these three concepts and verbs?

    Note that your title should read

    What's the difference between these three concepts and verbs?

    Rover

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    #7

    Re: What's the difference among these three concepts and verbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Note that your title should read

    What's the difference between these three concepts and verbs?


    Rover
    Can I ask you why you used "between" and not "among"?
    I have studied that "between" is used for two people or two things, whereas "among" for more than two. Now, since the concepts are three...why did you use "between"?

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    #8

    Re: What's the difference among these three concepts and verbs?

    That is a common misconception.

    Concise Oxford English Dictionary 2008 Oxford University Press:
    between
    preposition & adverb
    • 1 at, into, or across the space separating (two objects, places, or points).


    • 2 in the period separating (two points in time).


    • 3 [as prep.] indicating a connection or relationship involving two or more parties.


    Rover

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    #9

    Re: What's the difference among these three concepts and verbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by dilodi83 View Post
    Thanks so much for your help...it's very useful to me
    so you'd use "to break off" for everything connected with nature...but what about this use of "to break off"?
    Ex. Sandra decided to break off a slice of bread and to put it onto the table.
    In this case, the meanig of the verbs is always to make something (bread in this case) into small pieces...and it's not about nature... I'd be glad to know what you think about it.
    "To break off" can have a variety of meanings and can be applied in different contexts. In addition to emsr2d2's comments, "to break off" can be applied to a relationship between persons or even groups. "Maria broke off her relationship with Jim".


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