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  1. #1
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    Idiom: "burn the bridge"

    Which is correct, "burn the bridge," "Burn the bridges," "Burn one's own bridge," or "Burn one's own bridges?" I see all four on the Internet. The idiom is "Doing something that makes going back impossible."

    Does the plural form of bridge make any difference here?

    Thanks.

    BMO

  2. #2
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    The first two are not the normal forms of the idiom. The closest is the last one you mention; "Burn one's own bridges". Bridges is in the plural to indicate that there is no way back; if you only burned one bridge, there may be others you could use.
    I'm not a teacher, so please consider any advice I give in that context.

  3. #3
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Idiom: "burn the bridge"

    Quote Originally Posted by bmo
    Which is correct, "burn the bridge," "Burn the bridges," "Burn one's own bridge," or "Burn one's own bridges?" I see all four on the Internet. The idiom is "Doing something that makes going back impossible."

    Does the plural form of bridge make any difference here?

    Thanks.

    BMO
    In American English, "burn one's/your bridges" (without own) is more common, I believe.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    It BE, we tend not to say 'own', too.

  5. #5
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    Thanks. I checked on the Internet again, and indeed, there are many more of "Burn one's bridges" than any other varieties.

    BMO

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Don't burn your bridges before you come to cross them .

  7. #7
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    "Don't burn your bridges"

    Keep a path open for retreat.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MW
    "Don't burn your bridges"

    Keep a path open for retreat.
    Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MW
    "Don't burn your bridges"

    Keep a path open for retreat.
    Thanks.

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