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What does break down mean?


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What does break down mean? #1 (permalink) Mon Apr 23, 2007 19:11 pm   What does break down mean?
 

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #148 "Idioms with the phrasal verb break", question 8

Teachers in Sydney have decided to call a snap strike next week after negotiations with the State Government over a ten per cent pay increase ......... early this morning.

(a) broke into
(b) broke down
(c) broke open
(d) broke up

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #148 "Idioms with the phrasal verb break", answer 8

Teachers in Sydney have decided to call a snap strike next week after negotiations with the State Government over a ten per cent pay increase broke down early this morning.

Correct answer: (b) broke down
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Why do you use break for this message?

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What does break down mean? #2 (permalink) Tue Apr 24, 2007 23:45 pm   What does break down mean?
 

.
The idiomatic phrasal verb is break down = collapse; destroy; cease to be useful, effective, or operable.
.
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What does break down mean? #3 (permalink) Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:37 am   What does break down mean?
 

Quote:
Teachers in Sydney have decided to call a snap strike next week after negotiations with the State Government over a ten per cent pay increase broke down early this morning

Hi, Mister Micawber

Could you explain to me why there is no definite article before negotiations?
In my opinion there should be the, because we're talking here about quite definite negotiations (which took place in the past), not about negotiations in general?

thanks
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What does break down mean? #4 (permalink) Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:27 am   What does break down mean?
 

With a plural noun (with "s"), "the" is left out since it's not necessary and is clumsy.
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What does break down mean? #5 (permalink) Wed Apr 25, 2007 19:20 pm   What does break down mean?
 

Hi lost_soul,

The point is that negotiations here are general. The article 'the' is used before 'State Government', which is where the specfic idea come in. You could say: I am having/I had discussions with the manager about my salary.

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What does break down mean? #6 (permalink) Tue Feb 03, 2009 19:48 pm   What does break down mean?
 

Dear Alan,
What does mean snap strike?

Regards
Khan
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What does break down mean? #7 (permalink) Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:12 am   What does break down mean?
 

Shafqat wrote:
Dear Alan,
What does mean snap strike?
Regards
Khan

Yeh, would be good to hear the answer from the native speakers.
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What does break down mean? #8 (permalink) Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:27 am   What does break down mean?
 

Hi Khan,

I would suggest that 'snap strike' means a strike that has been decided on without any prior warning. 'Strike' in that sense is what is euphemistically called 'industrial action' whereby employees stop working as a form of protest.

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What does break down mean? #9 (permalink) Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:31 am   What does break down mean?
 

You are correct. A snap strike, is a strike that has been called suddenly.
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What does break down mean? #10 (permalink) Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:37 am   What does break down mean?
 

Oh, I'm glad I'm correct!!
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What does break down mean? #11 (permalink) Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:51 am   What does break down mean?
 

Hi Alan,

Sorry about that. <blush>
I was responding to Gheon. I got distracted by something else when I was in the middle of writing the post, so it took me longer than expected to type a simple sentence. As a result by the time I hit the 'reply' button, you'd already got there! Unfortunately, I didn't see that. :D
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What does break down mean? #12 (permalink) Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:09 am   What does break down mean?
 

It happens, lol!
The point is that you probably answered to the part of the message, later deleted, which was suggesting that a snap strike is an unplanned strike.
But after certain consideration I suggested that it is unlikely due to the fact that there're certain words in the sentence that work against this hypothesis:
Teachers in Sydney have decided to call a snap strike next week.

But if you both say so then it must be right.
Perhaps, after all, this means that the decision was taken instantly or something like that.
Thanks, anyway for your snap answers :)
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What does break down mean? #13 (permalink) Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:56 am   What does break down mean?
 

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Hi Gheon,

The use I know best is when politicians hint at the idea of holding a snap election. That's when they think the tide is running in their favour and the sooner they hold an election, the better. Having seen the actual sentence, I can see your point about the apparent contradiction. Maybe things are different in Australia!

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What does break down mean? #14 (permalink) Sat Apr 17, 2010 13:13 pm   What does break down mean?
 

I presume that in this case, the term 'snap' is used because there was no motion put forward previously which suggested strike action would be called for.
Personally (in the UK, not Australia) I would say that a snap decision had been made to hold a strike (thus making the strike a 'planned strike'), but I'm no expert in the machinations of politics and trade unions. They seem to be a law unto themselves anyway. :D
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What does break down mean? #15 (permalink) Wed Oct 05, 2011 17:49 pm   What does break down mean?
 

what was broke down early in the morning in the sentence?

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