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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

to break even

Idiom: to break even (used as a verb)

First Example:
            Manager: I'm sorry, but we won't be able to give that raise you asked for.
            Employee: That's too bad. Can you explain why?
            Manager: Well, the rent for the building went up, and we lost a couple clients. Unfortunately, we barely broke even the last two months.
            Employee: Wow, I didn't realize it was that bad.
            Manager: Well, hopefully this new client will work out and we'll be bringing in more income starting next month.

Meaning: The expression "to break even" means to spend the same amount of money as was earned. In the example, the manager explains that the employee won't be getting a raise because the company "barely broke even," meaning that the company spent what they had earned and had no profits.

Second Example:
            Chris: How was the casino?
            Tania: It was so much fun! You should have come!
            Chris: Did you win any money?
            Tania: Yeah! I made enough to pay for the plane tickets and hotel room, so I basically broke even.
            Chris: Wow, so a free vacation! 
            Tania: Yeah! It would have been nice to make money, but it was still a surprise to break even and still have so much fun.

Meaning: In the second example, Tania "broke even" on her trip, making enough money at the casino to pay for her travel and accommodations. 

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