to break even (used as a
I’m sorry, but we won’t be able to give that raise you asked for.
That’s too bad. Can you explain why?
Well, the rent for the building went up, and we lost a couple clients.
Unfortunately, we barely broke even
the last two months.
Wow, I didn’t realize it was that bad.
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
How was the casino?
It was so much fun! You should have come!
Did you win any money?
Yeah! I made enough to pay for the plane tickets and hotel room, so I basically
Wow, so a free vacation!
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.