it's make or breaking this

gvergara

Senior Member
Español
Hi

I'd like to know what the usual 'procedure' is when you nominalise a 'compound expression' such as make or break. I've just read the lyrics of 'Love song' by Sara Bareilles and in one part, it says I'm not gonna write you a love song 'cause you tell me it's make or breaking this if you're on your way. My concrete question is why has the nominalising _ing ending been attached only to the second verb and not to both ('cause you tell me it's making or breaking this) Should the ending only be attached to the second element? Thanks in advance

Gonzalo
 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hi Gonzalo. I expect the songwriter did it that way because make or break is usually a noun-phrase ("It's make or break time, folks"), but here it's being used as a verb-phrase.

    (Unfortunately I can't claim to understand the lyric so can't really say what she means:()
     

    gvergara

    Senior Member
    Español
    Hi Gonzalo. I expect the songwriter did it that way because make or break is usually a noun-phrase ("It's make or break time, folks"), but here it's being used as a verb-phrase.

    (Unfortunately I can't claim to understand the lyric so can't really say what she means:()
    Thanks, Ewie, it's so nice to come back and be well received by good and knowledgeable firends.
    My Oxford dictionary treats make or break as a verbal expression, event hough it also provides examples oif this expresion as an adjective.
    In any case, is it correct to add the _ing ending only to the second verb? Thanks
     
    Last edited:

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Well, here there's apparently only one verb: make-or-break. The coordination of verbs 'make or break' is usually used as . . . I don't know what. Adjective, is my guess. It's make-or-break time. The situation is make-or-break. Anyway, whatever the word 'make-or-break' is, it's been converted (back) to a verb for this song. It then takes the regular verb ending '-ing'.

    Of course, using the two verbs 'make' and 'break' each with their own ending is much more usual grammar, but we can move idioms around between categories like this too, playing with the language.
     
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