19 / 10 / 2004

APART: meaning and examples

Good morning. Today we are going to deal with a question from David R. about the English word apart. In an e-mail to us some weeks ago, David wrote: "I have always wondered how to use the word apart. If I'm not wrong, we can use it in expressions like "falling apart." Could you explain more expressions using this word, please?" Apart can be used in many ways, but it usually means: (1) to be at a distance; to be separate. (2) to be in small pieces. (3) to be different. Here are a couple of common expressions with apart: Expression 1: to tear/rip/pull/take something apart. Meaning: to break or divide something into separate pieces. Example 1 He ripped the paper apart in frustration. Example 2 Every time the photocopier breaks, the repairman has to come and take it apart to see what the problem is. Expression 2: to fall apart. Meaning: to say that something is in such a bad condition or state that it won't stay together. Example 3 The car was so old that nobody was surprised when it fell apart. Example 4 Unfortunately, Sally and Tom's marriage is falling apart. I hope this answers your question, David. If anybody else has any questions about these expression, please don't hesitate to contact me. Enjoy the rest of your day!