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break / break off

Help on English vocab, including idioms, slang and sayings

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break / break off

Postby Brahman » Sat May 21, 2011 5:15 am

Should it be

1) Let's break off for lunch.

or

2) Break up for lunch.

or

3) Let's break for lunch.


?
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Re: Break

Postby Josef » Sat May 21, 2011 10:02 am

Let's break for lunch. :ok:
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Re: Break

Postby Brahman » Sat May 21, 2011 4:10 pm

Thank you very much, Josef!

I have found some examples of "break off" in the dictionaries. Are they Standard English or regionalism?

1. Finally we would break off for coffee and to talk more informally. [pg. 35, Oxford Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs by A.P.Cowie & R. Mackin]

2. Let's break off and have a cup of tea.
2a. Let's break off work and have a cup of tea. [Longman Dictionary of Phrasal verbs by Rosemary Courtney]
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Re: Break

Postby jmio » Sun May 22, 2011 5:05 am

"Break off" is less common and might not sound right in all situations, but both are standard.
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Re: Break

Postby Josef » Mon May 23, 2011 9:58 am

I agree with jmio. The danger with "break off" is that it can imply the end of an activity, not a mere pause. This is indicated by the use of the word "Finally" in your example sentence #1. Sentences #2 and #2a are ambiguous and we might only know from the context whether the break was permanent or temporary.
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Re: break / break off

Postby Brahman » Wed May 25, 2011 2:29 pm

Josef and jmio,

Thank you very much for your help.
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