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Quick answer
"Break down" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "estropearse", and "shatter" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "hacer añicos". Learn more about the difference between "break down" and "shatter" below.
break down(
breyk
 
daun
)
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
1. (to stop functioning)
a. estropearse
The hot water heater broke down last night while I was in the shower.Anoche, se estropeó la caldera mientras estaba en la ducha.
b. averiarse
My car broke down in the middle of nowhere, so I had to hitchhike.Se averió el auto en el medio de la nada, así que tuve que hacer dedo.
c. descomponerse
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
The car broke down because the radiator overheated.El carro se descompuso porque el radiador se recalentó.
2. (to succumb to emotional stress)
a. derrumbarse
After working sleeplessly for weeks, he broke down and started screaming at his boss.Después de trabajar sin dormir durante semanas, se derrumbó y empezó a gritarle a su jefe.
b. echarse a llorar
When he realized she had gone for good, he broke down.Cuando se dio cuenta de que ella se había ido para siempre, se echó a llorar.
c. romper a llorar
I can't watch "Bambi" without breaking down.No puedo ver "Bambi" sin romper a llorar.
3. (to fail)
a. fracasar (negotiations)
Talks between the two countries broke down after the attack.Las negociaciones entre los dos países fracasaron tras el atentado.
4. (to divide into constituents)
a. descomponerse
As citric acid breaks down, what substance is released?¿Qué sustancia se libera al descomponerse el ácido cítrico?
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
5. (to destroy)
a. derribar
The detective obtained a warrant and went to break down the door of the suspect.El detective obtuvo una orden de detención y se dirigió a derribar la puerta del sospechoso.
b. echar abajo
They began to break down the Berlin Wall in 1990.Empezaron a echar abajo el Muro de Berlín en 1990.
6. (to separate)
a. dividir
It's easier if we break the work down into stages.Es más fácil si dividimos el trabajo en etapas.
7.
A phrase used as a figure of speech or a word that is symbolic in meaning; metaphorical (e.g. carrot, bean).
(figurative)
(to overcome)
a. vencer (resistance)
How can we break down people's resistance to change?¿Cómo podemos vencer la resistencia de la gente al cambio?
8. (to analyze)
a. desglosar (figures)
I can break down the charges on your bill so it's easier to understand.Puedo desglosar los cargos de la factura para que sea más fácil de entender.
b. descomponer
It can be difficult to break down a complicated sentence.Puede ser difícil descomponer una oración complicada.
9. (to decompose)
a. descomponer
In a hydrolysis reaction, water is used to break down a molecule.En una reacción de hidrólisis, se emplea agua para descomponer una molécula.
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shatter
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to break)
a. hacer añicos
We were playing catch, and Juan accidentally shattered our neighbor's window.Estábamos jugando a la pelota, y por accidente Juan hizo añicos la ventana de nuestro vecino.
b. hacer pedazos
The man got out of his car, angrily picked up a rock, and shattered my windshield.El hombre bajó de su carro, recogió una piedra furiosamente e hizo pedazos mi parabrisas.
2. (to destroy)
a. destrozar
Philip's recent illness absolutely shattered his immune system.La enfermedad reciente de Philip le destrozó el sistema inmunológico.
b. destruir
Jimmy's illusions were shattered when he realized that Santa Claus didn't exist.Las ilusiones de Jimmy fueron destruidas cuando se enteró que Papá Noel no existía.
3.
A phrase used as a figure of speech or a word that is symbolic in meaning; metaphorical (e.g. carrot, bean).
(figurative)
(to break)
a. romper
A phrase used as a figure of speech or a word that is symbolic in meaning; metaphorical (e.g. carrot, bean).
(figurative)
The early morning silence was shattered by a gun shot.Un disparo rompió el silencio de la madrugada.
4.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(to exhaust) (United Kingdom)
a. dejar hecho polvo
Running eight miles uphill really shattered me this morning.Correr ocho millas cuesta arriba realmente me dejó hecho polvo esta mañana.
b. agotar
Hot yoga can really shatter you if you're not used to it.El yoga caliente te puede agotar si no estás acostumbrado.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
5. (to break into small pieces)
a. hacerse añicos
A window of the auditorium shattered when the soprano hit the high note.Una ventana del auditorio se hizo añicos cuando la soprano llegó a la nota alta.
b. hacerse pedazos
The Bohemian crystal goblet shattered when it hit the floor.La copa de cristal de Bohemia se hizo pedazos cuando chocó contra el suelo.
Copyright © Curiosity Media Inc.
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