Yes and no I think. Ordeal - you're describing the intransitive phrasal verb break up
and the transitive phrasal verb break off
. The fact that one is transitive and the other intransitive already means they can't be synonyms : The marriage broke up because he cheated on her.
She broke off the marriage because he cheated on her.
You can't swap the verbs in the sentences around because of the grammatical difference.
But Ana Laura didn't ask about these. She wanted to know about the (transitive) phrasal prepositional verbs break up/off with
, which are different again.
Here are some examples of "break up with" the Cobuild concordancer found. All but the last clearly relates to a love relationship of some sort : A man who tells you the details of breaking up with his lover is either in distress or ...
...Heighes, said he began the thefts after breaking up with his girlfriend, which had led...
Since breaking up with Richard she has lived with David
...or some rejection or humiliation, such as breaking up with a girlfriend or boyfriend,
If she then breaks up with him because he doesn't seem to be ...
Kate eventually broke up with her married lover because he had no
Anyhow, I came back home, and I broke up with my girlfriend and Grant had just had ...
After Jason Epstein broke up with his longtime girlfriend, Cheryl ...
...but only when she breaks up with her other group because all the girls
and for "break off with" : After 27-year-old Lee-Ann, a social worker, broke off with her boyfriend of five years
Mozart had married Konstanze Weber, Leopold broke off with him almost completely and refused to
... eventually I broke off with everybody by changing my phone
... rid of his stash, threw out his paraphernalia, broke off with other users, and even moved out
Here, the frequency is reversed. The first example shows that break off with
can be used for a love relationship, but the majority of examples refer to other, non-love relationships.
So : break up with
and break off with
are used as synonyms, and can both be used for love and non-love relationships. But ...
- to describe a love relationships, break up with
is more frequent
- to describe a non-love relationship, break off with
is more frequent
Going back to Ordeal's intransitive examples I'm afraid that split up
and break up
aren't synonyms. It's people
who split up, but a relationship
which breaks up. Compare : John and Helen split up after twenty years together.
Their marriage broke up after twenty years.
You can't swap the verbs in those sentences.
But, if you look at the transitive phrasal prepositional verb split up with
, then yes, it can be a synonym for break up/off with
. More examples from the concordancer : ... the playwright's mind returned when he split up with his long-term partner
...this chapter of his life was closed. He had split up with Karen and moved home,
... and Spender had split up with his wife.
a healthy attachment to a new partner You can't split up with someone ....
...I was in a similar position, having just split up with my long-term girlfriend.
Interestingly, all the examples of split up with
I found referred to love relationships.
Hope that clarifies.