Break Down

Break Down

Infinitive: Break Down
Present Tense: Break Down/ Breaks Down
-ing Form: Breaking Down
Past Tense: Broke Down
Past Participle: Broken Down
It is a separable phrasal verb that can
be used in six ways
  1. 1

    When someone loses self-control and is emotionally and/or mentally agitated.
    This meaning has a noun form for a situation where someone loses self-control.

    She broke down in tears after she heard about her boyfriend cheating.
    Michelle started breaking down when she saw the horrific news on television.
    [Noun] Michelle's breakdown caused her mother to have a breakdown too.

  2. 2

    When you use any kind of force to go through a locked door.

    Geez! How many doors do we have to break down to exit this building?
    Police officers will break down a door to arrest a suspect, if they have to.

  3. 3

    When something is not functioning correctly.
    This meaning has an adjective form for describing a situation where something is in bad condition or is broken.

    Our road trip was going well, until our car broke down in the middle of nowhere!
    My computer lasted for 10 years before it finally broke down.
    [Adj] The company restores broken-down toys and equipment so they can resell them on eBay.

  4. 4

    When you simplify a complicated idea, thought, process, situation, etc.

    Please break the process down into simple terms, so everyone can understand it.
    Can you break it down for me one more time, please?

  5. 5

    When a negotiation or an agreement/arrangement is not completed due to lack of cooperation.
    This meaning has a noun form for a situation where a negotiation/plan/agreement was not finished.

    Liz and Mark ended their engagement immediately after their prenuptial agreement broke down.
    Trade negotiations with Russia nearly broke down last week.
    [Noun] The breakdown of their life together made him sad.

  6. 6

    When a substance is reduced to its smallest parts.

    Did you know that the liver is the organ responsible for breaking down alcohol in your body so you don't get poisoned?
    A molecule is made up of two or more atoms, so if you break down a molecule, there will be two or more atoms.

Break Down
  1. Everyone knows that their marriage is _______ ____. In a small town, it's no surprise that everyone knows everyone else's business. They know the ______ _______ of every piece of gossip.
  2. Mrs. Oswald ______ ___ and panicked when her car had not only _____ ___ in the middle of the playground, but she also had to _____ the story _____ to the police.
  3. In order to solve a mystery, you should ______ ____ the biggest problem into smaller ones, and solve them one at a time.
  4. I had a very weird dream last night. First, I _____ ___ for no reason. Next, this huge wrecking ball ______ ____ the wall that separated both our rooms. After that, my father _____ the front door ___. Finally, I woke up!
  5. The producer needs to review and approve the script first, before ________ it _____ so the actors and actresses can have their own copy.

Listen for the phrasal verb Break Down in this humorous video clip from the movie The Emperor's New Groove

  1. Yzma: Alright, I've had enough of this. Tell us where the talking llama is, and we'll burn your house to the ground.

    Kronk: Did you mean to say, or?

    Yzma: Tell us where the talking llama is, or we'll burn your house to the ground.

    Kid: Well, which is it?

    Yzma: That's it, Kronk! _____ the door _____!

    Kronk: _____ it ____? Are you kidding me? This is hand-carved mahogany.

    Yzma: I don't care, you fool. Get out of my way. I'll _____ it _____ myself. One! Two! Three!

    Mother: Okay, kids, you know what to do.

    Kids: Right, mom!

    Teacher: Okay, children, ready, set, go!

    Yzma: Stop it, you little brats! Oh, there they are, Kronk! Hey! They're getting away!
  2. What was Yzma after?

    What was the dialogue about?

Change the sentences above into questions, then change them into negatives.

  • Everyone knows that their marriage is breaking down. In a small town, it’s no surprise that everyone knows everyone else’s business. They know the breakdown of every piece of gossip.
    Mrs. Oswald broke down and panicked when her car had not only broken down in the middle of the playground, but she also had to broken the story down to the police.
    In order to solve a mystery, you should break down the biggest problem into smaller ones, and solve them one at a time.
    I had a very weird dream last night. First, I broke down for no reason. Next, this huge wrecking ball broke down the wall that separated both our rooms. After that, my father broke the front door down. Finally, I woke up!
    The producer needs to review and approve the script first, before breaking it down so the actors and actresses can have their own copy.
    —-

    Yzma: That’s it, Kronk! Break the door down!

    Kronk: Break it down? Are you kidding me? This is hand-carved mahogany.

    Yzma: I don’t care, you fool. Get out of my way. I’ll break it down myself. One! Two! Three!

  • LOIEnglish

    but she also had to BREAK the story DOWN to the police.

    Good!

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