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    #1

    "Give me a break!" not in the sense of dissatisfaction or annoyance

    Is it possible that "Give me a break!" is used in the sense of "Let me take a break (because I'm physically tired)", not in the sense of dissatisfaction or annoyance?

    For example, a friend of yours is asking many questions to you and you are tired (You are neither annoyed or irritated. You are just tired. You are willing to answer more questions, but you just need a little rest.) If you say "Give me a break!", would the friend think you are annoyed?

    I guess it depends on how you say it and your facial expression, but Japanese people often don't show our feelings by facial expression. If someone says this without expression, how would it sound?
    Last edited by herbivorie; 06-Aug-2014 at 12:32.

  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "Give me a break!" not in the sense of dissatisfaction or annoyance

    Mind that I am a non-native speaker of English

    I think it will be rude anyway without any further comment (especially if you pronounce it the way you wrote it - with an excamation mark). You could say "Please give me a break. I'm so tired. I'll answer your questions a little later, OK?"
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "Give me a break!" not in the sense of dissatisfaction or annoyance

    Can 'allow me a break' be used to avoid confusion?

  3. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "Give me a break!" not in the sense of dissatisfaction or annoyance

    I believe the idiom is fixed as "give me ("gimme" in non-standard English) a break". If the face shows no expression, the listener is most likely to feel offended. However, as usual, the right context (intonation, face expression, etc.) can make it sound relaxed, condescending, humorous...
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: "Give me a break!" not in the sense of dissatisfaction or annoyance

    There is certainly a difference in tone and expression between simply saying "give me a break" (or, elaborating, "let me take a little break") and saying "Gimme a break!"

  4. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: "Give me a break!" not in the sense of dissatisfaction or annoyance

    Quote Originally Posted by herbivorie View Post
    Is it possible that "Give me a break!" is used in the sense of "Let me take a break (because I'm physically tired)", not in the sense of dissatisfaction or annoyance?
    No. "Give me a break!" and "Gimme a break!" have only one meaning, and it is never "May I please rest for a little while?"

    It is not necessarily offensive. It is a lot like saying:

    - "Be serious!"
    - "You're kidding!"
    - "Get real!"
    - "You're pulling my leg!" (No, I can't explain that one.)

    Hope that helps.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "Give me a break!" not in the sense of dissatisfaction or annoyance

    I would not use "give me a break" there. How about, "Can we take a break? I'm very tired."

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