Usage of interruption, pause, break

< Previous | Next >

atoz12

Member
Bulgarian
Hey guys,

I am wondering which of the three words would be the best fit for the sentence below, or if you have any other suggestions.

I got back into learning German after a two-month interruption.​

Context: I didn't have time to study because of work or other engagements.

I also have a coupe of additional questions:

  1. I read in Cambridge Dictionary that a pause is a 'a short period in which something such as a sound or an activity is stopped before starting again'. What is the length of that period that would be considered normal in the correct usage of the word?
  2. In regard to time frame, what is the difference between break, interruption and pause? I.e. In which case is each of the words most appropriate?

Thanks a lot!
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I think the answer may depend on why you stopped studying German. "Interruption" makes it sound like there were circumstances beyond your control. "Break" may suggest you just wanted to take a break for a while.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I would use "break" - which could cover taking a holiday or simply, as you say, being too busy doing other things.

    Of the other two, interruption suggests to me that something disturbed you while you were studying, while pause generally, for me, denotes a much shorter temporary period of inactivity.

    Oh, and welcome to the forum, by the way. :)
     

    atoz12

    Member
    Bulgarian
    Thank you both for the quick replies!

    I would use "break" - which could cover taking a holiday or simply, as you say, being too busy doing other things.

    Of the other two, interruption suggests to me that something disturbed you while you were studying, while pause generally, for me, denotes a much shorter temporary period of inactivity.

    Oh, and welcome to the forum, by the way. :)
    Would you consider interruption (or could you suggest another appropriate word in its place), if for instance I had temporarily stopped learning due to time constraints that were beyond my control (e.g. working overtime, spending more time with someone else, doing more pressing activities)?

    The reason I am asking is because using break in this context feels (to me at least) as if the cause of the stoppage was not serious, but merely, for example, because I did not feel like doing it at that point in time. I am not sure if this reasoning is correct, though.

    PS. This forum is great! I have referred to it many times.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Thank you both for the quick replies!

    Would you consider interruption (or could you suggest another appropriate word in its place), if for instance I had temporarily stopped learning due to time constraints that were beyond my control (e.g. working overtime, spending more time with someone else, doing more pressing activities)?

    [...]
    To me, "interruption" suggests that there was a single, serious event that took place (illness, death in the family), not just that you had scheduling issues or too much work and needed to take a break.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Would you consider interruption (or could you suggest another appropriate word in its place), if for instance I had temporarily stopped learning due to time constraints that were beyond my control (e.g. working overtime, spending more time with someone else, doing more pressing activities)?

    The reason I am asking is because using break in this context feels (to me at least) as if the cause of the stoppage was not serious, but merely, for example, because I did not feel like doing it at that point in time. I am not sure if this reasoning is correct, though.
    You could do it as:
    I got back into learning German after having to take a two-month break.
    which would convey the idea that it wasn't from choice but was forced on you by something outside your control.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top