After all, if a courtroom can be "in recess", than could it not also be "in break"?

I've never seen a sentence like this before, specifically than could it not also be 'in break'. although I can guess its meaning. but I'd like to get more details about this pattern so that I can use it in a idiomatic way.

What is confused to me is the fragment that than (then) could it not also be in break, like why it is in a inverted order rather than it could and not also instead of not only, as it's a sentence written in a comment from a contributor, maybe there's a little typo. However, either pattern (Then or Than) to my best of knowledge, is a rarely used expression.


2 Answers 2


Recess is a technical term in law that means business is temporarily suspended but will be resumed. Yes, a recess is a kind of break, but it's idiomatic to say that a court or a legislature is in recess; it is not idiomatic to say it is "in break".

  • Thanks. I can guess the meaning of it, but I cant figure out what sentence pattern is used in it. In this sentence, we have an inverted order like could it and the use of not also instead of not only. I'd like to make out whether this is constant pattern we can use and why we use like that.
    – Young
    Commented Sep 15, 2018 at 17:42

The use of

in recess

follows a long and traditional usage of the phrase which is usually saved for legal bodies

Congress is in recess.

When these organizations are in recess, you might say the participants are

on a break

"On" is usually collocated with "break".

Q: Where did Steve go?
A: He's on (a) break.

You could also say

He's taking a break.
He's having a break.

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