Here are some more examples from the Collins COBUILD Phrasal Verbs Dictionary:break down
- 1 cease to function or continue; fail.
- 2 lose control of one's emotions when in distress.
(Since I'm not musical, I can't explain the following. All I know is that I like bluegrass music, and especially Flatt and Scruggs. )What does "breakdown" mean in "Foggy Mountain Breakdown", sdg? (I assume, in any event, that it's a noun rather than a verb....)
I wouldn't personally use (3).Are these correct? The camera doesn't work any more, ceased to function.
-I've broken your camera, I'm sorry.
-The camera has broken so I can't lend you it.
-The camera has broken down so I can't lend you it.
Generally, it's used for machines that move and transport.
Usually it's vehicles that break down: cars, buses, lorries, motorbikes.
Well, they did qualify their statements with generally and usually. I'd say that, generally, larger machines can break down, machines that obviously contain mechanical parts. And when one of those mechanical parts breaks/stops working, that would be what causes the entire thing to break down. (I'm kind of pulling this out of thin air right now...not sure if it'll prove to be an accurate generalization.)These are all dictionary examples for learners od English and, sadly enough, none of them vehicles. It is really hard not to be confused. So you wouldn't use 'break down' in them? Or things like washing machines should be treated as things that move, which kentix mentioned
1. The printing machines are always breaking down.
2. If the central heating breaks down again, I will refuse to pay the repair bill.
3. Our dishwasher broke down just a month after the guarantee had expired.
4. Oh no - has your washing machine broken down again?