I recently bought a book from an online site. Some papers were “broken”. I want to send feedback to the online retailer. How can I say it correctly: “tampered” or “broken” or “teared”? Please help me to create a feedback mail.

  • What do you mean by last day?
    – Tristan
    Sep 30, 2013 at 12:00
  • @Tristan Mean the day i got the book
    – anish
    Sep 30, 2013 at 12:02
  • anish, that's not a common wording used by native speakers because it is unclear which day in particular, it is referring to.
    – Tristan
    Sep 30, 2013 at 12:06
  • last day means The previous day.ie yesterday
    – anish
    Sep 30, 2013 at 12:10
  • 2
    anish, in that case, it would be more common and natural to say yesterday.
    – Tristan
    Sep 30, 2013 at 12:17

2 Answers 2


Neither broken nor tampered make sense in your case. You would use torn, which is the correct form of your suggested "teared".

If you take a piece of paper and rip it in half, that piece of paper is torn. The paper is also torn if only small pieces are missing, or even if the paper remains connected after the tear.

enter image description here

From the dictionary definition of broken you would think it fits in your situation:

broken, adj.

  1. Forcibly separated into two or more pieces; fractured: a broken arm; broken glass.

But it doesn't. Note that the two examples are of items that would snap or shatter. A vase can be broken, but a book can't... A book can be ripped or torn or damaged, but it simply isn't idiomatic to say it's broken. This is what comes to mind when using broken in this sense:

enter image description here

As for tampered, you definitely don't want to use that.

tampered, v. intr.

  1. To interfere in a harmful manner: tried to tamper with the decedent's will; tampering with the timing mechanism of the safe.

When you say something has been tampered with (note the with, that's required) that means that you are accusing the company of intentionally modifying/changing/damaging the product before sending it to you. I don't imagine this is what you think happened, so I don't think this is the word you're looking for.

So, for a sentence to explain what you need to tell them...

Some of the pages in my book are torn.

So torn would work fine, but most people would probably just say the book was damaged, and then add further detail if they thought it necessary:

When my book arrived it was damaged; several of the pages were torn, and [insert anything else wrong with the book here].

  • i really liked this answer great definitions..Thanks! +1 Oct 1, 2013 at 7:19
  • I agree that a book can't be broken, but it is possible that a specific part of a book may be broken, e.g the spine of a book can be broken. This fits with your description of 'breaking' as relating to items which are stiff or brittle in nature.
    – toandfro
    Oct 1, 2013 at 7:32

Take a look at this reference..It is the same situation which suits you..

[Your address]

[Seller's address]

Dear Sir/Madam

[Reference: Goods purchased through eBay on dd/mm/yy]

On [date], I bought [item] from you for £[xx] however when [item] was received on [date] I discovered that it was damaged in the following way: [details of damage].

The condition of the item was your responsibility up to the point I received it and accordingly I am entitled to [a refund along with a refund of all delivery costs] [a replacement]. I would request that you confirm in the next 3 days that you will provide this remedy and that you will cover the cost of the defective item being returned to you.

Should I not receive this confirmation I will have no alternative but to raise a dispute through the eBay Buyer Protection dispute resolution process or to consider court action.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

and for papers you can use damaged book.

Reference: feedback e-mail


tampered-past participle, past tense of tam·per (Verb)


1.Interfere with (something) to cause damage or make unauthorized alterations.

teared-past participle, past tense of tear (Verb)


1.Pull or rip (something) apart or to pieces with force: "I tore up the letter".

Broken- Past participle of break.

1. Forcibly separated into two or more pieces; fractured:
2. Incomplete: a broken set of books.
  • Ok.I want to know the exact difference between Tampered vs Broken vsTeared
    – anish
    Sep 30, 2013 at 12:01
  • How can i use these with in the case of a paper?
    – anish
    Sep 30, 2013 at 12:04
  • take the reference of this letter and as you want to say to the seller.write it in place of letter description.
    – Java D
    Sep 30, 2013 at 12:07
  • "In my copy some papers where tampered".Is this correct?
    – anish
    Sep 30, 2013 at 12:08
  • 2
    That letter appears to be standard boilerplate. Is its use compatible with the SE site licensing? Also, "teared" is NOT the past tense of "tear". "Tore" would be correct in that context. Sep 30, 2013 at 13:18

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