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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?
THANK YOU.
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Hi Anon

No, you and your husband are using a grammatically correct sentence. "It is broken" is correct.
It is also possible to use "break" in the simple past tense and say "It broke".

"It is broke" is an informal, slang version of "It is broken".

The American Heritage Dictionary refers to this usage of "broke" as "nonstandard":
http://www.bartleby.com/61/74/B0497400.html
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No – you are right. Your husband's co-workers are using non-standard English in this case.

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Comments  
i dont think so Anon we had an idiom 'to be broke= to have no money" although it is grammartically incorrect e,g He is broke so he can not go to movie to night .we can not change this sentence in formal as like that 'He is broken so he can not go to movie to night, but we only can say " some parts in his car are broken so he can not drive to movie to night
Anonymoushe was corrected by one of his co-workers, that he should say "it's broke".
His co-worker is wrong. His co-worker is giving bad advice. Tell him to restrict his comments to something other than grammar, because he's obviously hopeless at that! Emotion: smile

If it's a matter of "keeping peace" among co-workers, then your husband may as well go along with "It's broke" even though it's wrong. If he's not comfortable with that, show the co-worker the posts in this thread.

CJ
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Hi,



A small further comment.



I rarely hear mechanics say 'It's broken'. In my experience, they much more commonly say 'It's not working'.

If they said something was broken, it would sound to me like it was physically in two or more pieces.



eg Your rear axle is broken.

eg Your gas gauge is not working.

eg Your carburettor is not working.



Another common phrase is 'You have a problem with your . . . '

eg You have a problem with your brake calipers.



Clive
I TRIED TO TELL MY CO-WORKER THAT HE WAS WRONG SAYING "IT'S BROKE".
IT SHOULD BE IT'S BROKEN. "IT'S BROKE" IS JUST FOR IDIOTS. WE LEARNED THIS STUFF IN GRADE 1
AnonymousTHAT HE WAS WRONG SAYING "IT'S BROKE".
Nevertheless, making others wrong is not the best way to make friends and influence people. Emotion: wink

CJ
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His coworker is an idiot. Your husband is correct. People who say "it's broke" instead of "it's broken" were not paying attention at school.
I can see from dictionaries that "broken" is the past participle of "break" and that "broke" the past thereof.
However, I remember hearing some natives using "broke" instead of "broken".
Moreover, 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."??
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