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Break the back of



 
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"present tense" vs. "past tense" | Butting in front of others vs. butting in in front of others
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Break the back of #1 (permalink) Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:26 am   Break the back of
 

Test No. incompl/advan-68 "Back Again", question 7

There's still some way to go with this latest project but I think we've ......... the back of it.

(a) smashed
(b) broken
(c) hit
(d) crashed

Test No. incompl/advan-68 "Back Again", answer 7

There's still some way to go with this latest project but I think we've broken the back of it.

Correct answer: (b) broken

Your answer was: incorrect
There's still some way to go with this latest project but I think we've smashed the back of it.
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could you refresh this one up?
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Break the back of #2 (permalink) Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:47 am   Break the back of
 

This expression means do most of the work on a project do the major part of a job.
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Break the back of #3 (permalink) Wed Nov 21, 2012 16:10 pm   Break the back of
 

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Sorry my dear Alan, but didn`t understand your explanation about the question 7(BACK AGAIN) very well.Please, could you explain differently? Regards.
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Break the back of #4 (permalink) Wed Nov 21, 2012 23:26 pm   Break the back of
 

smashed the back of it = done most of the work on it
It's idiomatic, so doesn't make sense if you try to break it down word by word literally.
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Break the back of #5 (permalink) Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:02 am   Break the back of
 

Hi Cristovam,

To avoid further confusion, I should repeat that the sentence reads: we've broken the back of it. You might know the old proverb: The last straw that broke the camel's back. This refers to the story of how just one more piece of straw was too much for the camel to carry on its back and as a result the camel's back was broken. This is the idea behind the test sentence suggesting that you have reached the point where you have done the greatest part of the project and there is not much left for you to do.

Alan
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Break the back of #6 (permalink) Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:04 pm   Break the back of
 

Beeesneees wrote:
smashed the back of it = done most of the work on it
It's idiomatic, so doesn't make sense if you try to break it down word by word literally.

This is most curious, :)
I see that you chose "smashed" and the test says that "broken" is correct.
I take it that this saying varies from state to state, from county to county, right?
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Break the back of #7 (permalink) Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:52 pm   Break the back of
 

No, 'broken' is correct if you are looking for a general expression. That is what I intended to say, but my fingers were working faster than my brain.
I would not rule out 'smashed' to indicate 'brokrn completely' as an alternative in informal speech though. (In the same way as we can say 'he smashed the record' to indicate that he broke it, but by a considerable degree.)
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Break the back of #8 (permalink) Thu Nov 22, 2012 15:47 pm   Break the back of
 

I would 'rule it out'. I think that's a bit misleading to line up 'break' with 'smash' in the sort of context suggested in the test of completing a major part.
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Break the back of #9 (permalink) Thu Nov 22, 2012 18:13 pm   Break the back of
 

No surprises that you disagree with me, especially if you wrote the test.

I still think it's possible.
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Break the back of #10 (permalink) Thu Nov 22, 2012 18:35 pm   Break the back of
 

Cheap jibe.
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Break the back of #11 (permalink) Thu Nov 22, 2012 23:32 pm   Break the back of
 

I'm just stating fact.
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