Useful Idioms – part 43

Be caught in the crossfire = be involved in an unpleasant situation in which people are arguing with each other, though you do not want to be involved.

  • They say they are caught in the crossfire between the education establishment and the government.

Burn one’s bridges (boats) = do something which makes it impossible to return to an earlier state.

  • I think you really burned your bridges when you announced you were quitting and proceeded to insult your boss in front of the whole staff.
  • She’s young, so I don’t think she realises that she’ll be burning her bridges if she goes to work for their competitors.

When it comes to the crunch = when a situation becomes extremely serious and a decision must be made.

  • If it comes to the crunch and you and your husband do split up, you can always stay with us.
  • If it comes to the crunch, I’ll resign over this.

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