wooden track pieces

My little sister asked me to join the wooden track pieces (train) together, after a while, I found that she had spread the train tracks all across the floor.

You asked me to put these together and you've broken them already?

(Not literally "broken", I want it to mean that the track is broken; all the pieces of the track are spread all over the floor and not as a complete train's track)

What is a natural way to express their two bold words? ("Put together" And "Break")

And if it is not spread all over the floor, it's something like this:

partially assembled wooden track pieces


There are other possible answers for this I think, but in my opinion, these two are good choices:

to assemble/assembling and to disassemble/disassembling

assemble X > to fit together all the separate parts of something such as a piece of furniture or a machine:The cupboard is easy to assemble.

disassemble X > to take apart a machine or structure so that it is in separate pieces We had to completely disassemble the engine to find the problem.


put them together and take them apart

put X together ​ > to make or prepare something by fitting or collecting parts together; to put together a model plane/an essay/a meal

take X apart ​> to separate a machine or piece of equipment into the different parts that it is made of


You asked me to put these together and you've taken them apart already?

You asked me to assemble these and you've disassembled them already?

Or better wording, considering the context where the rails were taken apart right after assembling them:

You asked me to put these together and/but you've taken them apart right away?

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  • "You asked me to assemble these and you've disassembled them" is probably a bit above the reading level of the OP's "little sister" – Mike Brockington Jul 4 '19 at 14:07

To my eyes, the best way to handle this is via a slight adjustment - think of it as a set, or as 'track', so:

"I asked you to put the track/set together, but it is still all broken."

I agree with your disquiet at using 'broken' when referring to the parts - they are indeed not damaged in any way, which is the primary meaning of broken, but it is by far the commonest word to use otherwise.

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  • Why not “you’ve pulled it all apart?”, or “you took it apart!” Or “you’ve taken it all apart!” – whiskeychief Jun 28 '19 at 11:02
  • @whiskeychief That doesn't fit with the given narrative: "My little sister asked me to join ..." – Mike Brockington Jun 28 '19 at 11:04
  • So Mike, you don't find "take it apart"? What does it imply to you. And do you find "break" natural? – It's about English Jun 28 '19 at 11:05
  • “Take it apart” is very natural sounding. Apart, the opposite of together, is perfect here. – whiskeychief Jun 28 '19 at 11:06
  • @MikeBrockington so “she took it apart” or “while I was assembling the track she was taking it apart?” — I don’t understand your question. – whiskeychief Jun 28 '19 at 11:08

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