Break or come into my house [burglar]

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Piyush toplani

Senior Member
Hindi
Is there any difference between the following sentences?
1. A buglar broke into my house at half to ten at last night.
2. A buglar come into my house at half to ten at last night.
I'm mainly concerned of usage of "broke" or "come" in the above sentence. Thank you....<——-Additional question removed by moderator (Florentia52)——->
 
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  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Usually, we would say that a burglar 'broke' into a house, because a burglar doesn't walk in through a door but gets in illegally, through a window or by breaking a lock. In general, we think of coming into the house against the owner's wishes as 'breaking in'.

    If you say that the burglar 'came' into the house, it sounds as though he walked in the ordinary way with the owner's permission.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Why do you want to replace "broke"? If the burglar forced an entry - by damaging a window or a door - he "broke into" the house.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    People don't always lock their doors, especially when they are at home. A burglar often doesn't need to break anything to carry out his activity.
    Still, the expression "break into" is so well established that we might use it even when there is no forced entry.

    You could say "entered" instead of "broke into".

    By the way:
    at half to ten :cross: not idiomatic -> half past nine
    at last night :cross: -> last night (no "at")
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Edinburgher is right - we've been confusing burglary with housebreaking. According to my law dictionary (L.B. Curzon, Dictionary of law, Pitman, 1988):
    Burglary: entering any building as a trespasser and with intent to steal, etc.
    Breaking and entering: burglary committed by one who, in the night, broke and entered a dwelling-house with intent to commit a felony.

    So if we correct both the original sentences for spelling and idiom, we have:
    Is there any difference between the following sentences?
    1. A burglar broke into my house at half past nine last night.
    2. A burglar came into my house at half past nine last night
    .
    And the answer is "Yes: in English law, if he broke into a house at night he wasn't merely a burglar, he was a housebreaker. This is a more serious offence."
     
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