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Newsletter July 04 - 2004FREE email English course

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Expressions with break or "Have a break!"

There's a television advertisement about a chocolate biscuit called Kit Kat that has been running now for some years. It's a confection consisting of thin bars of chocolate-covered biscuit joined together. The slogan is: "Have a break Have a Kit Kat". When the words have finished, you hear a snapping sound as a piece of the biscuit is broken. So "Have a break" in this sense means not only relax but also break off something. Break in fact is a very versatile word in its different aspects of verb and noun. At this time of the year many of us take a break have a holiday and of course around this period most of the schools "break up" close for the holidays.

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Of course in the old days the "annual break" (yearly holiday) was the conventional bucket and spade type by the seaside. And in the small island of Britain there's plenty of choice with hundreds of miles of coast from the luxurious 5 star hotel to the humble bed and breakfast. And there we go again "break fast" when we stop the so-called "fast" (having no food) during the night and then start eating again. Today most of us "break with" (no longer follow) this tradition and travel to exotic places hoping we won't be "breaking the bank" (spending more than we can really afford) in order to do so. While you're away you hope that nobody will "break into" (burgle) your house. If you're travelling by car, you hope that your car won't "break down" (stop working) as you set off on your long journey at the "break of day" (dawn).

Another occurrence at this time of the year is the constant phone calls "breaking the news" (announcing) that you have won a fabulous holiday. You are invited to "break off" (stop) doing what you had planned for your holidays and come along to a presentation at a local hotel. So we decided to "break the habit" of a life time (do something we had never done before) and go along and listen to what this holiday company had to offer. When we arrived, we were offered a drink to "break the ice" (make the occasion more relaxing) as it were and the sat down to see what happened next. Well the first half was quite interesting but after the "break" (interval) it started to get very serious. What we had thought would be free, turned out to cost more and more and if you did accept their scheme, you would quite honestly be lucky to "break even" (not lose any money). As the speakers continued their presentation, we became increasingly bored, checked to see which exit was free and "made a break for it" (made an attempt to escape) but were stopped by one of the staff, who tried very hard to persuade us to stay but we broke in on (interrupted) his little speech, said we were not well and got away.

So we've decided to "go for a short break" (quick holiday) the other side of the channel. Just think all those thousands of years ago if what is mainland Britain hadn't broken off from (become separated from) what is mainland Europe, I could actually drive all the way without having to cross the channel by boat but then of course we wouldn't have a south coast. I don't like the idea of the channel because I like to see where I'm going! The place we've chosen is very remote and apparently there's a prison nearby and also a large marsh area so we're hoping that there won't be a "breakout" (escape of prisoners) from the prison or an "outbreak" (sudden appearance of) of marsh fever. And now I must "break off" (stop writing) because I understand there's a man offering another free holiday on the phone and I'm just in the right mood to "break someone's neck" (murder someone) that is if you can physically and legally do that on the telephone!

Alan Townend

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Here comes 2004...Head expressions for you
Womens' DayA spring in your step
Only three lettersNot really
Have a break!The name of the game
Good bye summerYour choice
In short 
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