romper - quebrar

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  • roxcyn

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English [AmE]
    You usually use quebrar for the body---like breaking bones, but you can use romper. Romper can be used for breaking bones and other objects. I think they are both similar.
     
    -Quebrar sounds to me a bit (just a bit) informal whereas romper is completely neutral.

    -Romper is much more used.

    -Quebrar suggests to me to make something into pieces which is not obligatory in romper, you can "romper" something without shattering it.
     

    Londoner06

    Senior Member
    US/English, Spanish
    I agree with Henrik, I think that quebrar is used when you break something into pieces like a plate or a chocolate bar. Romper is used when something is not working, like a car, "mi coche está roto". Language is always so pliable though, differences are subtle, for example to say "Mary tore the paper" I would never use quebrar even though tearing a paper breaks it into pieces. I would say "Maria rompió el papel." This may be a special usage, I am not sure. In simple terms:

    quebrar => break into pieces, such as plates, glasses.

    romper=> to cause to stop working, something not working, like a car, a watch.

    Hope it's not too confusing.

    Londoner06
     

    Duometri

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish
    I agree with Henrik, I think that quebrar is used when you break something into pieces like a plate or a chocolate bar. Romper is used when something is not working, like a car, "mi coche está roto". Language is always so pliable though, differences are subtle, for example to say "Mary tore the paper" I would never use quebrar even though tearing a paper breaks it into pieces. I would say "Maria rompió el papel." This may be a special usage, I am not sure. In simple terms:

    quebrar => break into pieces, such as plates, glasses.

    romper=> to cause to stop working, something not working, like a car, a watch.

    Hope it's not too confusing.

    Londoner06
    Not exactly; quebrar is used when something "long" is broken into two or more pieces, for instance a bone of the arm/leg or a stick, but neither a plate or the heart.

    Romper is to stop working, but also to break, including those situations where you may use quebrar. So, in case of doubt, use romper, and there will be no problem.
     

    nanel

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Let's see if I can explain this.

    Quebrar para mí implica que haya grietas o fisuras, quiebras un hueso porque se agrieta y entonces se quiebra, pero es una percepción subjetiva mía. Romper es mucho más general, no implica necesariamente partir algo.

    Para un corazón, definitivamente "romper": Me has roto el corazon (you broke my heart).
     

    Eclisse

    New Member
    Italian
    Hi everybody!

    Sorry Nanel, bur I must contradict You.

    I think, in this context, "quebrar" have a more widespread use.
    De la prensa: "a primera vista, no parece un joven apuesto capaz de quebrar el corazón del género femenino"; y: "me quebró el corazón a escuchar las noticias del terremoto en Perú.".


    ________________________________________________________________

    I live in Italy and I study Spanish as a fourth language (dopo l'Italiano, after English, et après le Français ), hope you don't speak me in German 'till next year! :p
     
    Last edited:

    Shaka1

    Member
    Chile - Español
    Londoner06 nailed it but I think "Me rompió el corazón" is far more used that "Me quebró el corazón", which sounds weird to me (not used in chile at all). You can also say "María rompió el plato" or "María quebró el plato". But, there's a difference when you say "Me quebré la pierna" (you broke your bone) and "Me rompí la pierna" (you broke your bone if you say this the they after it hapened, but if you are runnig a you fall and shout "ey me rompí la pierna!" means that you may have broken your bone but also, are more likely, you just have a minor wound and it's bleeding a little bit)

    Quebrar is more like "to crack" but it's a subtle difference between the two words....
     
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