She is really broke up about your cousin dying

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #438 [color=blue]“English Slang Idioms (177)”, question 8

“Can you please call your sister? She is really broke about your cousin dying. I think she needs to talk to someone that cares,” her mom told her.

(a) away
(b) up
© down
(d) apart

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #438 [color=blue]“English Slang Idioms (177)”, answer 8

“Can you please call your sister? She is really broke up about your cousin dying. I think she needs to talk to someone that cares,” her mom told her.

Correct answer: (b) up

Your answer was: [color=red]incorrect
“Can you please call your sister? She is really broke down about your cousin dying. I think she needs to talk to someone that cares,” her mom told her.
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break up = suffer a nervous breakdown
Is this the correct meaning in this case?
And wouldn’t “broken up” be the correct form?
Thanks.

I agree that the form should be ‘broken’-- we will fix that, thank you. As far as meaning is concerned: in informal English ‘to be broken up’ simply means ‘to be emotionally upset’, much as we call someone ‘crazy’ when s/he is not actually insane.

[quote=“Baubau”]
English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #438 [color=blue]“English Slang Idioms (177)”, question 8

“Can you please call your sister? She is really broke about your cousin dying. I think she needs to talk to someone that cares,” her mom told her.

Hi! Why “broken down” is not correct in this test? I looked up its meaning from dictionary and one of its meanings is “to have physical or mental collapse”. With kind regards, Oinas.

We do use the active verb (‘she broke down’) and we use the noun (‘she had a breakdown’), but we do not use it in passive voice.

Hi Oinas,
‘Broken up’ is the correct phrase in that sentence, as originally stated in messages #1 and 2 in this thread.

If you are ‘broken up’ about/over something, you are confused and distressed.