Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

(build/burn/mend) bridges

build bridgesburn bridgesmend bridges
Meaning(s)
1) create/sever/restore ties or a connection
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • build bridges between, burn your bridges
  • Analysis

    A 'bridge' between people is a connection or relationship that they share. If you 'burn bridges' with someone, you destroy your path somewhere or connections to someone. When you 'burn your bridges' you sabotage your opportunities and advantages. If you 'build bridges' you succeed in connecting to others or nurturing relationships between different contacts or organisations. When you 'mend bridges' you repair relationships that have broken down or which have fallen apart. These are all figurative expressions used in casual and professional contexts.

  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. The United Nations is an organisation that attempts to build bridges between countries.
    2. Ideally, you should leave a job in a respectful manner so as not to burn your bridges.
    3. I never burn my bridges with anyone in case I need their help later.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. My business partner went to the party to build a bridge between us and valuable investors.
    2. A mediator was called in to help mend bridges between the company and their chief supplier so that the outstanding contract could be fulfilled.
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