Abortion vs. Interruption

B1- B1 B2 C1

WRONG: My friend got pregnant when she was 15 so she decided to have an interruption.
RIGHT: My friend got pregnant when she was 15 so she decided to have an abortion.

This week’s Czenglish error is not a particularly pleasant one, but it‘s a common enough word that almost all Czech speakers use incorrectly. The word ‘interruption’ is wrongly used to describe the act when a pregnancy is terminated. This doesn’t work in English. The correct word should be abortion. The verb ‘to abort’ means to stop something and has a wider use for things like operations and military missions, but the noun, abortion, is almost always connected with pregnancy termination.

The word interruption does exist in English, and means to cause an activity to be stopped. It is most commonly used in connection with conversation, where someone would say, “I’m sorry to interrupt, or I’m sorry for this interruption.” The interruption is a disturbance to the normal flow of things.

Here are both words used together in a short dialogue.

A: Did you hear about Sarah? Unfortunately, she had to have an abortion.
B: Really? I didn’t know she was pregnant.
C: I’m sorry to interrupt your conversation but the meeting starts in 2 minutes.