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ESL forum > Ask for help > Broke or Broken    

Broke or Broken

Costa Rica

Broke or Broken
Can someone tell me which of these expressions is right to mean that you don t have money to spend and why
I m broke vs I m broken

22 Aug 2012      


As far as I know, to be broke is often used when saying that you cannot do something because you do not have enough money to do it...
To be broken (inside), for example, means you are unhappy, it s an expression or idiom that has nothing to do with money issues...

22 Aug 2012     

United States

"I m broke." means I have no money

"I m broken." means something on you does not function right (though this is usually used for objects more than  for people) or it means your spirit has been devastated ("since his divorce he s a broken man").

23 Aug 2012     

United Kingdom

I agree with sofy dy. If you are broke , you have no money and it s a common expression.  We would rarely say I m broken or he s broken etc, we would though, say He s a broken man and this means in an emotional sense (possibly financial as well.) As for the derivation, maybe it s linked to bankrupt.   Rupt is from Latin meaning broken. Then there s an expression to broker a deal. Maybe it has something to do with that?

(I was writing at the same time as Douglas. I agree with him as well!)           

23 Aug 2012     

United Kingdom

I m broke means that i have no money.

23 Aug 2012     

United Kingdom

http://www.westegg.com/etymology/ tells me that this is the origins of the phrase.  I thought I d heard something similar and so checked it out.  Incidentally, it s an interesting website for anyone interested in the origins of common phrases and words.
Broke (In the sense of having no money)
Many banks in post-Renaissance Europe issued small, porcelain "borrower s tiles" to their creditworthy customers. Like credit cards, these tiles were imprinted with the owner s name, his credit limit, and the name of the bank. Each time the customer wanted to borrow money, he had to present the tile to the bank teller, who would compare the imprinted credit limit with how much the customer had already borrowed. If the borrower were past the limit, the teller "broke" the tile on the spot.

23 Aug 2012     


I m broke means I don t have any money

23 Aug 2012