0

In a novel, there was a line:
"And do we get 'wanted posters'? Leo said."Do we have bounties,like,broken down on a price list?"

So what does "break down on" mean?

1

The Oxford Dictionary gives this definition for breakdown

NOUN
3.1 An explanatory analysis, especially of statistics.
a detailed cost breakdown

What is meant is a list of wanted people, with their bounty values — like a price list.

There is a difference between breakdown and break down:

  • The word breakdown is a noun.
  • The phrase break down is a phrasal verb.

You asked about the phrase "break down on" but "on" is not part of that phrase, it is a preposition before "a price list".

The sentence shown with its phrasing is

Do we have bounties, like, [broken down] [on a price list]?

  • Sorry I didn't get it. Could you please explain more fully @Weather Vane? So it means something like: Do we have bounties, like, in simper terms (or broken down) on a price list? – It's about English Feb 20 at 10:55
  • 1
    There is not much context, but I suspect it is meant as a facetious remark. "Will they issue 'wanted posters'? Is there a bounty on our capture? Is there a breakdown of wanted people, like a price list?" As I said, "break down on" is not a valid phrase. The bounties are broken down into items which are placed on a list. – Weather Vane Feb 20 at 11:01
1

The verb in question is 'break down'; on is a preposition starting a prepositional phrase.

To break X down is to render it into component parts. If you break down a bill, you are listing the items on it. If you break down an analysis, it is shown in stages. If you break down a design, you are looking at component elements.

(This is not to be confused with break down in its intransitive sense, such as "the car broke down"; that means something, usually mechanical, stopping working)

So the question is asking if there are bounties on them, and if those bounties are listed as component elements. The final prepositional phrase "on a price list" is specifying that they would expect to see the bounty breakdowns, well, on a price list.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.