Use of break and brake


When do I use break/brake?

asked Jan 17 '11 at 15:39 Igor Karpets New member

5 answers


The verb to break means to separate a whole thing into parts, i.e. When the plate fell, it broke into pieces.

The noun, break, is used (a) to discuss the result of breaking or (b) to discuss a pause in time, normally used for rest. Here are some examples:

(a) The doctor said that is was a clean break and that the bone would heal quickly.

(b) I need a break; I've been working on this task all morning!

In comparison, the verb to brake means to stop or slow down using brakes, i.e. When stopping at a traffic light, one should brake gradually.

A brake is the name of the mechanism on a machine that slows it down, usually on cars, bikes, or other vehicles. For example: When the deer ran into the road, John hit the brakes.

link comment answered Jan 18 '11 at 11:00 Kimberly Expert

Break means:


To damage:  "If I hear your phone ring one more time, I am going to break it."


To separate:  "I will break off a piece of this cookie so you can taste it."


A pause or period of rest:  "I will turn off the computer and take a break."


A key on a computer keyboard: "The program jammed and I had to press ctrl-break to stop it."


To infringe or disobey:  "That is an unfair rule, and I am going to break it."



Brake means:


To stop or slow:  "The large pedal in the floor is how you brake the car."


The mechanism to stop a vehicle or machinery:  "I had to press the brake pedal to keep from hitting the cat."


To process flax, hemp, or similar materials: "It used to be hard work to brake flax."

link comment answered Mar 21 '12 at 22:49 Courtney Contributor

Ah, Ha!

Many thanks. Was 'feard I was broke.


link comment answered Jan 06 '14 at 17:54 Samuel Spade New member

ho no help i need more so much more

link comment answered Nov 21 '13 at 21:12 poppy New member

I had all my teeth extracted yesterday. How do I brake (or would that be "break"?) myself from popping things in my mouth that need chewing, only to discover I can't process them???


link answered Jan 05 '14 at 04:45 Samuel Spade New member

You don't brake or break yourself, Samuel. You break the habit of popping things in your mouth.

Patty TJan 05 '14 at 16:51

add comment

Your answer

Write at least 20 characters

Have a question about English grammar, style or vocabulary use? Ask now to get help from Grammarly experts for FREE.