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      • Native Language:
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      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Jan 2009
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    #1

    Smile What's the difference between "break" and "recess"?

    Hi! Teachers.


    I'm so wondering about the difference between "break" and "recess"?

    As far as I'm concerned, "recess' is oftently used in schools. So my questions are below:

    1) What's the difference between "recess" and "break"?

    2) Is "Recess" commonly used in middle schools or high schools? If not,
    what terminology they can use? I mean, how middle school studets ask
    teachers for the break or recess naturally?

    ex) Ms. Johson, there's the bell, can we go recess now? (Is it just used in
    the elementary school level?)
    What about "Can we have a break?" Is it rude or not commonly used?

    Actually, I'm not a native teacher. So I want to let my students know how to make a request for "break". My studets are middle school students and some adults. I'm not sure which one is nartural sounding for my students. So I need your help. I want to know commonly used expression in U.S. shcools. If you know the answer, please let me know. I REALLY appreciate your help.

    Thank you very much in advance. Have a GREAT day.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,609
    #2

    Re: What's the difference between "break" and "recess"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eureka View Post
    Hi! Teachers.


    I'm so wondering about the difference between "break" and "recess"?

    As far as I'm concerned, "recess' is oftently used in schools. So my questions are below:

    1) What's the difference between "recess" and "break"?

    2) Is "Recess" commonly used in middle schools or high schools? If not,
    what terminology they can use? I mean, how middle school studets ask
    teachers for the break or recess naturally?

    ex) Ms. Johson, there's the bell, can we go recess now? (Is it just used in
    the elementary school level?)
    What about "Can we have a break?" Is it rude or not commonly used?

    Actually, I'm not a native teacher. So I want to let my students know how to make a request for "break". My studets are middle school students and some adults. I'm not sure which one is nartural sounding for my students. So I need your help. I want to know commonly used expression in U.S. shcools. If you know the answer, please let me know. I REALLY appreciate your help.

    Thank you very much in advance. Have a GREAT day.
    Break is BrE, recess is AmE.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
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      • American English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
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    #3

    Re: What's the difference between "break" and "recess"?

    In the US, "recess" is a scheduled time for the children to get up, go outside (usually) and play. If you have been working hard and need to stop for a few minutes, it's not a recess.

    On the other hand, in the US, once you are past middle school, there is no recess.

    Courts and Congress also have recesses. It means they are not in session - although the idea of the judge going out in his robes to play a little dodgeball is an appealing one.

    "Can we take a break for a little bit?" is not at all rude. A shorted form is "Let's take five" meaning "let's take a five-minute break" if you are the person in charge of the schedule, or "Can we take five?" if you are the person requesting it.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
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      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 1,032
    #4

    Re: What's the difference between "break" and "recess"?

    Canadian English is the same as US English, recess is used up to Grade 8. After that, the students move from class to class, generally having 5 or 10 minutes between classes to get to the new classroom.

    "Let's have/take a break." is not rude, but quite common here also.

    Parliament and courts also are in recess, when they are not working.

  3. konungursvia's Avatar
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      • Canada
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    • Posts: 5,158
    #5

    Re: What's the difference between "break" and "recess"?

    Recess is also used in courts of law. Break is Anglo-Saxon, and down-to-earth, while recess is Franco-Latin, more formal, institutional, etc.

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