What does “break up” mean in English? Learn how to use this phrasal verb correctly.

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Hi, I’m Joel. In this short video,

I’m going to talk about the phrasal verb “break up.”

To break up simply means to end a relationship.

This is usually in the context of a romantic relationship with a boyfriend and girlfriend.

However, it can also refer to non-romantic relationships such as a band

or a musical group that stops playing music together.

Usually we don’t use this with a married couple.

Usually with a married couple, we say that they got divorced or that they separated.

So, the term break up is most properly used for relationships between a boyfriend and a girlfriend.

I’m going to give you some example sentences now:

“They were together for over 2 years and just broke up last week.”

“Bill and Tammy were having some problems and decided to break up.”

“I can’t believe my favorite band broke up. I’m really going to miss their music.”

“Jennifer broke up with John yesterday. I can’t believe it.”

As you can see with the last example, I said “Jennifer broke up with John.”

So, if one person decides to end the relationship, then we need to use “with”

– Jennifer decided to end the relationship; John didn’t.

So we say, “Jennifer broke up with John.”

When the decision is mutual or when they both decide to break up, we don’t use “with.”

Rather, we simply say, “Jennifer and John broke up.” Or, “They broke up.”

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