Break In - English Phrasal Verb

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In this lesson you will learn about using the phrasal verb ‘break in’ in your conversations.


Earl: Today we will learn about the phrasal verb ‘break in’. It can be used in a number of ways. We will discuss them one after another.

Pearl: ‘Break in’ means an intrusion. It means a forced entry. For example: ‘The burglars broke in and ransacked Sundance Mall’.

Earl: Yes, ‘break in’ also means to interrupt something, like interrupting a discussion. Breaking in when someone is discussing something is not good though.

Pearl: Breaking in a discussion is not always bad, Earl. Well...but ‘breaking in’ also means to get accustomed to a new task.

Earl: Yeah, like training someone or learning something for a purpose.

Pearl: That’s right. Let me give you an example to help you understand: ‘It will take him weeks to break in the new racing car’.

Earl: It means the driver will need weeks to properly know how to drive the new racing car, right?

Pearl: You got that right!

Earl: Okay. ‘Break in’ also means to train a horse for riding.

Pearl: Yes, some horses take years to break in for riding!

Earl: Especially those wild ones. Okay, but let’s listen to some conversations with more examples now.

Pearl: Alright!

Jonathan’s Car Was Stolen!

Adams: Guess what? Last night somebody broke in and stole Jonathan’s new car from his garage!

Carla: Really?!

Adams: Yes, really! I feel so sorry for him, he was talking about a high security locking system for his garage just yesterday evening.

Carla: Oh! That was when you were on the phone with him and I broke into the room. I overheard you.

Adams: Yeah!

Breaking a new software

Carla: Seems I’ll need some time to break in this new software.

Adams: It’s a bit complicated. You’ll need a lot of work.

Carla: I’ve handled worse. I just need to read the manual.

Adams: Good luck breaking it in.

Keep the Doggy Away.

Carla: Guess what? Today Sammy’s new pony broke into the garden and messed everything up. It ate the daisies that Sammy’s mother had planted so lovingly.

Adams: Ha ha! That’s funny. That’s why I don’t think keeping a pet pony is a good idea.

Carla: You know Sammy! He thinks he’s an outlaw living in wild-wild west. I’m just glad he hasn’t broken into a bank yet.

Adams: I know what you mean. Children can be quite intense!

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