student asking question

What's the main difference between "breach", "infiltrate", and "intrude?" Or are they interchangeable?

teacher

Native speaker’s answer

Rebecca

They're probably a few contexts where they could be interchangeable. But they are all slightly different! A "breach" is when you break a law, code of conduct, or agreement. It can also mean a gap in the barrier or defence system from an attacking side. To "infiltrate" is to enter into or gain access to something - you get inside. To "intrude" is to cross a boundary or enter into where you are not welcome or invited. Ex: You intruded onto my property! You better leave before I call the cops. Ex: They infiltrated our security system, and we've lost control of the cameras. Ex: Sharing the restaurant recipe is a breach of your employment contract. I'm going to have to call my lawyer. Ex: There's a breach on the south wall.

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