break up: meaning and explanation
to break up (with somebody) = to end a relationship (with somebody)
If we are talking about a couple, then we can just use break up, not break up with somebody. e.g. Have you heard that Tom and Sarah broke up while they were on holiday?
When you talk about one person in a relationship, then we use break up with somebody. This might be because it was that person’s decision, or just because they are more important to us. e.g. Have you heard that Tom broke up with Sarah while they were on holiday?
Have a go at this dictation exercise to hear this phrasal verb being used in context – how much can you understand?
Accent: North American
Write your answers to these questions in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:
- Have any of your friends broken up with their partners recently? What happened?
- Do you know any couples who you think should break up? Why?
- Is it possible to stay friends after breaking up with somebody?