‘Brake’ and ‘break’

I regularly see break and brake used incorrectly. They are homophones and it’s very easy to type the right letters in the wrong order.

Break has lots of meanings but I am going to list the core ones (I have also omitted brake’s rarer ones). If you would like a more extensive breakdown, you should visit Oxford Dictionaries online.

Brake

  • to make a moving vehicle slow down by using a brake
  • a device for stopping or slowing a vehicle
  • a thing that slows, hinders or stops progress, activity or momentum

Break

  • to separate or become separated into piecesBroken down car
  • to damage or become damaged so as not to work
  • to cut through or penetrate
  • to interrupt
  • to fail to observe or to infringe
  • to crush emotional strength or resistance
  • to go through change or enter a new state
  • to suddenly become public
  • an interruption of continuity or uniformity
  • a pause in work or activity
  • a gap or opening
  • an opportunity or chance

Unfortunately, I don’t have a simple tip to help anyone who may struggle with using break and brake. If you have a suggestion, please share it in the comments!

Thank you to James J Harris for suggesting this post.

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