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"Break up" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "separarse", and "split up" is an intransitive verb phrase which is also often translated as "separarse". Learn more about the difference between "break up" and "split up" below.
break up(
breyk
 
uhp
)
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 dissolve a relationship)
a. separarse
Breaking up is never easy, whether in romance or business.Separarse nunca es sencillo, ya sea en el amor o en los negocios.
2. (to split up; often used with "with")
a. romper
He didn't eat for weeks after he broke up with his girlfriend.No comió por semanas después de romper con su novia.
b. terminar
He was so cowardly that he used a text message to break up with his girlfriend.Fue tan cobarde que usó un mensaje de texto para terminar con su novia.
c. cortar
Do you know why they broke up?¿Sabes por qué cortaron?
3. (to disintegrate)
a. desintegrarse
The heavy rains caused the rocks in the quarry to break up into sediment.Las fuertes lluvias hicieron que las piedras de la cantera se desintegraran hasta convertirse en sedimento.
b. deshacerse
If you add some water to the gravy and whisk vigorously, the lumps will break up.Si añades un poco de agua al jugo de carne y bates enérgicamente, los grumos se desharán.
4. (education) (United Kingdom)
a. terminar
After our final exams, school will break up.Después de nuestros exámenes finales, la escuela terminará.
b. empezar las vacaciones
Do you break up this week or next week?¿Empiezas las vacaciones esta semana o la semana que viene?
5. (to laugh uncontrollably)
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
a. reírse a carcajadas
This comedian is great. He gets the crowd to break up every time.Este comediante es excelente. Hace que el público se ría a carcajadas.
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
6. (to cause to separate)
a. dispersar
The police officers broke up the crowd that had gathered in the business district.Los policías dispersaron a la muchedumbre que se había reunido en el distrito comercial.
b. poner fin a
The two teachers broke up the fight in the hallway.Los dos maestros pusieron fin a la pelea que había en el pasillo.
c. desarticular
The primary aim of our police force has been to break up the street gangs that terrorize our city.El objetivo principal de nuestro cuerpo de policía es desarticular las bandas callejeras que aterrorizan nuestra ciudad.
d. dividir
Don't listen to their rumors. They just want to break up our group.No hagas caso a sus rumores. Solo quieren dividir a nuestro grupo.
7. (to separate into pieces)
a. desguazar
The crew broke up the ships to salvage metal that the airplane factory could use.La tripulación desguazó los barcos para reciclar el metal que la fábrica de aviones podría usar.
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split up
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 separate)
a. separarse (couple)
Leonard's parents split up when he was very young, so he was used to it.Los padres de Leonard se separaron cuando era muy joven, así que estaba acostumbrado.
2. (to disband)
a. separarse
The band split up after their manager's death.El grupo se separó tras la muerte de su representante.
3. (to go different ways)
a. dispersarse (crowd)
The crowd split up after the concert ended.El público se dispersó cuando terminó el concierto.
b. dividirse
The members of the search party split up into pairs to cover more ground.Los miembros del pelotón de búsqueda se dividieron en parejas para cubrir más terreno.
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
4. (to separate)
a. dividir
The teacher split the students up into teams of three.La maestra dividió a los alumnos en equipos de tres.
b. partir (portions)
Hugo split the baguette up into three pieces.Hugo partió la barra de pan en tres pedazos.
5. (to distribute)
a. dividirse
My partner and I split up the business profits equally.My socio y yo nos dividimos las ganancias del negocio en partes iguales.
b. repartirse
The pirates split up the booty from the raid.Los piratas se repartieron el botín del asalto.
c. repartir
The landowners split up the land among the farmers.Los terratenientes repartieron las tierras entre los campesinos.
6. (to put space between)
a. separar (fighters)
The referee separated the two boxers.El árbitro separó a los dos boxeadores.
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