Word of the Day: Break Down

Break Down is a phrasal verb

A noun is formed by attaching the two words together: breakdown

To break down means:

1. (a machine etc) to stop working correctly because of breakage or malfunction
my car broke down on the way to work – ma voiture est tombée en panne ce matin sur le chemin du travail
2. to lose control of one’s emotions
he broke down and cried after confessing to the court : il s’est effondré en larmes après avoir avoué au tribunal

A breakdown means:

1. The failure of a machine to work correctly
this photocopier is guaranteed 2 years against breakdown (une panne)
2. A detailed analysis of financial statistics
The next slide shows a breakdown of the figures for January (ce diapo montre une ventilation des chiffres de janvier)