How to use “Broken – Broke”

How to use “Broken – Broke”


Broken” is an adjective that means “shattered” or “damaged.”

(An adjective describes a person, place, or thing.)


  • The toy is broken.
  • He has a broken toy.
  • The bone is broken.
  • I have a broken bone.


Broke” can be used in two ways:

1. “Broke” can be an adjective that means “without money.”


  • I lost my job. Now I am broke. (I do not have any money.)
  • He cannot pay for dinner because he is broke. (He does not have any money.)
  • The broke company lost their business. (The company does not have any money.)

2. “Broke” can be the past tense form of the verb “break.


  • The toy broke yesterday.
  • He broke a bone when he fell out of the tree last week.
  • The cat broke the vase last night.


To review, let’s use this sentence as an example:

“I break a mirror.”

“Break” is a verb.

The past tense form of “break” is “broke.”

“I broke a mirror yesterday.”

In this sentence, “broke” is a verb in the past tense.

I cannot say, “The mirror is broke.”

That is incorrect. “The mirror is broke” would mean that the mirror does not have any money!

I should say, “The mirror is broken.”

Remember, when “broke” is used as an adjective, it means you are penniless or without money.



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