Perbedaan break dan brake

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Image caption Pengucapan kata brake yang berarti rem terdengar sama dengan break.

This is BBC Learning English. Now, as you’ve probably worked out by now, the English language can be very confusing.

One sort of confusing words are homophones – that means two words which sound the same but have different meanings. Here’s a basic example: blue – the colour (BLUE) and blew, the past tense of to blow (BLEW).

Now, let’s join Finn and Abigail, who are going to look at one pair of homophones.

Finn: Hello, in Soundalikes today we'll be hearing two words which sound exactly the same, but as usual have different meanings. With me in the studio today is Abigail.

Abigail: Hello, yes Finn. I’ve brought you two more awkward words in the English language. Today it’s brake and break.

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Finn: Break and brake – that sounds quite serious, maybe a little painful. Now let’s listen to those two words in news stories.

"...international economists recently urged the government to put the brakes on the country's rapid economic growth..."

"...several times the crew try to break a path through. The engines roar, the bow rears up and the weight of the vessel is meant to crack down on the ice..."

Finn: Ok – so first we heard an interesting phrase: 'putting the brakes on the economy', and then we heard 'breaking a path through the ice.'

Abigail: Yes – so two different words, two different uses.

Finn: Two different uses, two different meanings. And I think people might be more familiar with the second break that we heard.

Abigail: Yes the second break is BREAK – to break something – to damage it, to stop it working, to snap it whatever.

Finn: To snap it, to separate it. OK so the second one was talking about a ship which was clearing a path in the ice.

Abigail: yes, so it was breaking the ice so that it could move through it.

Finn: OK, great. So that’s clear. But in the first story – we're not talking about breaking or damaging the economy, are we?

Abigail: No, no exactly. Putting the brakes on the economy – it means slowing it down. And this word is brake spelled BRAKE – and people who drive cars might know this, because a car has brakes. They are what slows the car down or stops the car. You put the brakes on.

Finn: If you drive a car that one might be easier to remember – BRAKE. So we don't say – 'breaking economic growth', we say 'putting the brakes on economic growth'

Abigail: Yes, that’s right. It’s a fixed phrase, you have to say putting the brakes on economic growth. And you could also say, you hear maybe politicians hope to put the brakes on global warming, there’s another example.

Finn: OK and I’m sure lots of politicians would like to do that. I hope so. Well – thank you Abigail – I think it's time for us to take a break – that's BREAK – listen again for more Soundalikes soon.

So we heard Finn and Abigail talking about the words brake and break. Let’s see if you can identify the two different words when used in a sentence. So, the two meanings are: brake – meaning to slow down, and break – meaning destroy or damage.

Listen to these examples and say which meaning they are.

"...a coach which crashed through a wall and landed on the top of a house had a faulty brake, an investigation has revealed..."

"...It’s part of a project which aims to break down barriers between disabled people and the wider community..."

If you got them right – well done!

Let’s recap the spellings of those two words. Brake – meaning slow down or stop is spelt BRAKE, and break – meaning destroy or damage, or pause in doing something is spelt BREAK.