break off [doing something]

KYC

Senior Member
Mandarin
Hello, there:
I saw a sentence in a novel. "Can't you see I'm---" he broke off to stare at her quizzically.
I am wondering if the phrase "broke off" is the same meaning as the term "stop doing something".
Second, I am trying to make a sentence with the phrase.
Hopefully, I use it correctly.
"Mother heared her baby cring. She broke off and rushed to her baby immediately."
Could you please check it for me?
Thanks a lot!
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    No, not quite. In the first example, we understand, because of the dash, that he broke off speaking. In your example, we're left wondering what she broke off from -- that needs to be understood by the reader.
     

    KYC

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thanks a lot for your correction and clear clarification.
    It's really helpful!:)
     
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