Lesson 12: Bridges

English vocabulary - Lesson 16

There are a number of expressions in English about bridges. I thought this was a pretty good place to share three of them with you.

Topic: Expressions about bridges.

1. The first expression is "Water under the bridge."

"Water under the bridge" usually refers to an unpleasant experience or event that's in the past. Because it's in the past,we can't change it. And it's no longer considered important in the present.


When the two sisters were teenagers, they fought over boyfriends. That's water under the bridge. Now they're both happily married, and they consider each other best friends.

2.The second expression is "Burn bridges".

To burn bridges is to leave a situation in such a way that you can never go back. Or it's to leave a relationship with one person or a group of people in such a way that you'll never be welcome again.


If you plan to quit your job, don't burn bridges. Be professional and respectful when you make your announcement. Who knows? One day you may need to ask for your old job back.

3.And last expression is "Cross that bridge when you come to it".

''To cross that bridge when you come to it'' means to deal with a problem when it happens. You can't cross a bridge until you're actually there. So why worry about possible problems? Deal with a problem when it actually happens.


Don't worry about paying tuition right now. You can cross that bridge when you come to it. Just focus on getting into a good university.

Let's review all three expressions:

1.What's the expression?

An unpleasant experience or event that is in the past and no longer important in the present. Do you remember?

Water under the bridge.

Note how we use it:

We often say:

- That's water under the bridge.


- It's water under the bridge.

2.What's the expression?

To leave a situation or relationship in such a way that it's not possible to return. Do you remember?

Burn bridges.

We often say:

- Don't burn your bridges. Or

- Don't burn any bridges.

3.What's the expression?*cụm từ này là gì?

To be concerned about or to deal with a problem only when it happens and not before. Do you remember?

Cross that bridge when you come to it.

Here are some common ways we use this expression:

Let's cross that bridge when we come to it.

Let's not cross that bridge until we come to it.

Don't cross that bridge until you come to it.

Let's try an exercise.

Exercise 1: choose the correct expression to complete each statement.

Statement 1. Read it to yourself and then I'll tell you the answer.


I know you're worried about the reaction Wendy's parents will have to the idea of your marriage, but don't cross that bridge until you come to it. First, you have to ask Wendy to marry you.

Statement 2. Again read it to yourself and then I'll tell you the answer.


The two co-workers argued in the past,but that's water under the bridge.They've learned to be respectful and even supportive of each other's work.

Statement 3.


The agent told the actress not to burn bridges. The actress took this advice and apologized to the film director for criticizing his work and not cooperating.

Let's try one more excercise.

Exercise 2: Answer the quesions.

If you're studying by yourself write down the answer. If you're studying with a partner, take turns asking questions.

Questions 1: Have you burnt any bridges that you now have regrets about?

Questions 2: Is it easy for you to forgive a wrongdoing and call it water under the bridge? Or do you stay angry for a long time?

Questions 3: Do you cross a bridge only when you come to it? Or do you often worry before a problem actually happens?

Additional practice for this lesson can be found at:englishcafe.com

My username is Jenifer ESL. Follow the direct link, listed in the video discription.

That's all for now. Thanks for watching! Happy studies!



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