The homonyms break and brake are so similar in their pronunciation that sometimes it is really hard to identify which one is used in a sentence. Further, when it comes to their spelling, it resembles a great extent. However, their meaning is quite different. Break means to tear something into pieces either by a hit or drop.
On the contrary, the brake is nothing but a device that is used for slowing down the speed or stopping the vehicle. Let’s have a look at the examples given below to understand the difference between these two:
- The driver didn’t apply brakes at the zebra crossing and broke the traffic rules.
- As the brakes were failed, the car went out of control and smashed-up with the nearby pole, and the windshield was broken down into pieces.
In these two sentences, you might have observed that the word ‘brake’ is used in connection with the vehicle only, whereas break has different meanings in both the two sentences. In the first sentence, it refers to violation of the rules, whereas in the second case it refers to shatter.
Content: Break Vs Brake
|Basis for Comparison||Break||Brake|
|Meaning||Break means to cause something to separate into pieces, either by violently hitting it or dropping it.||Brake refers to a device used to reduce the speed of a moving vehicle or to stop it by pressing it.|
|Verb||Irregular verb||Regular verb|
|Examples||While playing with the ball the kids broke the window of the house.||The driver applied the brakes immediately and we all are safe now.|
|The crockery fell off the table and broken into pieces.||Somehow she managed to put the brake on, but it failed to stop.|
|Joseph was penalized for breaking the speed limit.||I heard a screech of brakes just now.|
|Do not play with my binoculars, you will break it.||Peter released the brakes as the traffic signal turned green.|
Definition of Break
The word ‘break’ can be used as a verb which means to cause physical harm to something unexpected in a vigorous manner, through which it stops working or it is completely damaged.
It may also be used as a noun to mean an interruption or interval in the continuity, i.e. to take a pause. Further, it has several meanings, which depends on the context of the sentences. It can be both transitive and intransitive verb, as it sometimes takes an object, but sometimes, it does not. The points given below will help you in understanding their usage:
- To damage or ruin something into pieces:
- The imported glass was broken by Alex, last week, while he was pouring the drink.
- I have broken my hand in an accident.
- To end something:
- The kid laughed suddenly and broke the silence.
- Because of the humming sound, my concentration was broken.
- In an attempt to break the hunger-strike against corruption, the government accepted all the demands of the protestants.
- To infringe or breach of any promise, rule, act or law:
- The man was imprisoned for breaking the law.
- “You broke the promise”, said the child to his father.
- To divide something into two parts:
- You can break your assignments into parts so that you can complete it easily.
- She broke the cake into eight equal pieces.
- To stop something for a small interval:
- According to the new rule, employees can take one and a half hour lunch break.
- I think you should take a break from life and go on a trip.
- To lose morale, confidence or one’s controlling ability:
- After hearing the news of his parent’s death in a train accident, Peter was completely broken.
Definition of Brake
The word ‘brake’ as a noun refers to a mechanical device which is commonly used to slow down the speed or to stop the moving vehicle, axle, wheels or to end the motion which is possible due to friction. As a verb, it means to slow down or stop the moving vehicle with the help of its brakes.
- Kate suddenly applied the brakes and prevented all of us from getting injured.
- The new models have disc brakes.
- When he took his foot off the brakes, unexpectedly a child came running in front of the car and injured.
- I saw him applying brakes sharply to avoid one more bus.
- As the mechanic checked the vehicle, he said, “Your bike’s rear brakes are not working properly.”
Key Differences Between Break and Brake
The points presented below are noteworthy, so far as the difference between break and brake is concerned:
- Break implies to the fracture or damage caused to any object, by hitting, falling or slipping, in such a way that it is cracked or separated into several pieces. It may also mean to pause sometimes. On the contrary, the word ‘brake’ is used in connection with the vehicles, i.e. brake is a device that helps in slowing the speed of the vehicle or to stop it when pressed.
- The word ‘break’ is an irregular verb, as its simple past and past participle forms do not have a regular ‘ed’ ending. The simple past and past participle form of the word ‘break’ is broke and broken. On the contrary, the brake is a regular verb, as its simple past and past participle form is braked.
- At last, she broke the silence.
- Due to short circuit, a fire broke out in the factory last night.
- The plastic mug is weak; it will break easily.
- The truck driver suddenly applied the brakes.
- The car mechanic said, “Sir, I have changed the brakes of the car.”
- The main cause of the accident is the fault in brakes.
How to remember the difference
To sum up, there is a huge difference between break and brake, i.e. while break means to split or shatter something into pieces, or to take a pause, brake implies a mechanism used to reduce the speed of moving vehicles of wheels, or to stop its motion.