Break down : English Phrasal Verb : Online English Lessons

If a vehicle or machine breaks down it suddenly stops working.

Example of use:

Our car broke down on the way to the airport and we missed our flight.

If you break down you give way to your feelings and start to cry.

Example of use:

He misses his mother very much, and often breaks down when he talks about her.

To break down is also to become mentally or physically ill because of difficult or traumatic experiences .

breakdown (noun) – a physical or mental collapse.

Examples of use:

1. She had a nervous breakdown after her son was kidnapped.

2. He had a breakdown last year but he’s much better now.

If a meeting, talks or an agreement (including a relationship or marriage) breaks down it fails or stops working properly.

Examples of use:

1. The talks between the political parties have broken down.

2. Our marriage has broken down and we are getting a divorce.

infinitive – break down

present simple – break down and breaks down

-ing form – breaking down

past simple – broke down

past participle – broken down

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