My husband works in a car shop. English is not his native language (neither it is mineEmotion: wink). When he said "It's broken" about some part in a car, he was corrected by one of his co-workers, that he should say "it's broke". It happened several times. I thought you can say "broke" only a) in past simple of the verb "break", or when you are talking about someone who lost all his money. Am I AND MY HUSBAND WRONG?
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JungKimMoreover, there's this famous saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", where "ain't" means "isn't".Shouldn't the saying be "If it ain't broken, don't fix it."??
Grammatically speaking, it should be If it isn't broken, don't fix it. However, If it ain't broke, don't fix it is the saying, and applying the rules of grammar to it seems like hyper-correction.
I agree.
My question is whether the usage of "broke" in place of "broken" in this specific saying is an isolated case and is considered incorrect in all other cases.
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You are correct in classifying 'broken' as a past participle. What also must be borne in mind here is that some past participles can also function as adjectives (i.e. describing words).

In the sentence 'It is broken', the word 'broken' is functioning as an adjective (describing the state of the object) and the sentence is therefore grammatically correct.

The word 'broke' is simple past tense (e.g. I broke it. You broke it. She broke it). When the words 'has', 'have' or 'had' are introduced to qualify the infinitive 'to break', the past participle (broken) is used. For example:

She has broken it.
We have broken it.
I had broken it.

I hope this helps.
If ain't is used as a contraction, then am not is the only acceptable usage.
AnonymousIf ain't is used as a contraction, then am not is the only acceptable usage.
or are not, is not, have not or has not,
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You are absolutely correct. "Broke" can be used in the past tense of the word break. Otherwise it is only used when referring to a lack of money. The co-worker was incorrect. The car part is "broken" is the correct way to use the word.

In my experience, very few things on a car actually break. But lots of things stop working. Details are in my earlier post.


So, if someone says his car is broken do they mean it's in two pieces? ;-)
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They mean

eg It's not working.

eg It won't start.

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