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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
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      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Jun 2016
    • Posts: 95
    #1

    burn your bridges

    burn your bridges
    : to do something that makes you unable to go back to a previous situation
    Even after leaving his job, he tried to stay on friendly terms with his former boss because he didn't want to burn his bridges.

    Is this idiom used in daily speech?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • England
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      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,501
    #2

    Re: burn your bridges

    It's quite common in BE.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 9,337
    #3

    Re: burn your bridges

    And in the American variety.
    I am not a teacher.

  1. Senior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
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      • English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2017
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    #4

    Re: burn your bridges

    It is common. You don't use it every day because it refers to a specific situation.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,903
    #5

    Re: burn your bridges

    It is used when necessary. It could be common or less common, according to needs, but it is not archaic.

  2. probus's Avatar
    • Member Info
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      • English
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      • Canada
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      • Canada

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 3,458
    #6

    Re: burn your bridges

    I think its most common current use is in the negative as related to business. Never burn your bridges is always good business advice.

  3. heimerdinger's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Vietnamese
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      • Vietnam
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      • Vietnam

    • Join Date: May 2017
    • Posts: 3
    #7

    Re: burn your bridges

    As a learner, I hardly saw this idiom for sure... my English class doesn't have a native America teachers.

  4. teechar's Avatar
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      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
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      • Iraq

    • Join Date: Feb 2015
    • Posts: 6,180
    #8

    Re: burn your bridges

    Quote Originally Posted by heimerdinger View Post
    As a learner, I hardly saw haven't come across this idiom. for sure... My English class doesn't have a native American teacher.
    Could you please correct the information on your profile page?

  5. Lynxear's Avatar
    • Member Info
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      • English
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      • Canada
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      • Canada

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 509
    #9

    Re: burn your bridges

    It is often used in business or employment situations.

    Let us say you are leaving one job and accepting another. If you "burn your bridges" then you would leave the old job on bad terms, thinking that you don't need them anymore. This action is silly since later in life you might need that old company for a reference and they won't give you one.

    John! I know you had a lot of problems working at ABC Industries. I am happy that you have accepted work at a new company. However, do not burn your bridges at ABC Industries, doing so may harm you sometime in the future.
    Last edited by Lynxear; 16-Jul-2017 at 20:19. Reason: changed "to" to "at"

  6. Piscean's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • Czech Republic
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 10,010
    #10

    Re: burn your bridges

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynxear View Post
    However, do not burn your bridges to ABC Industries, doing so may harm you sometime in the future.
    You have a comma splice there. A semi-colon or full stop (period) is needed.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 14-Jul-2017 at 15:47. Reason: Fixed typo in quote box

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