The meaning of – Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
If you decide to deal with a problem when it arrives, rather than in advance, then you cross that bridge when you come to it.
It’s a great natural phrase to use in conversation when you are dealing with potential problems. Find out how to use it below.

FOR EXAMPLE
Perhaps your friends have asked to come and stay with you next month. You have agreed but they are smokers and you don’t like people smoking in your house. You could contact them now and make them aware that smoking is not allowed in the house but you decide to wait until their visit and see if they light a cigarette indoors and then you will ‘cross that bridge’.
Perhaps you have applied for a new job but that job requires you to wear a suit to work every day and you don’t own any suits. You think about rushing to the shops and buying lots of suits but you decide to wait and see if you get the job first and then ‘cross that bridge’.

HOW CAN I USE IT IN A CONVERSATION?
You say to your husband “What do you think? Shall I email Ben and Kate and let them know that they can’t smoke here or shall we just cross that bridge when we come to it?” OR your husband replies “No, don’t worry about it. Let’s just cross that bridge if/when we come to it. I doubt they will light up in the house.”
You say to your friend “I think I’d better go shopping this weekend.” Your friend replies “Why don’t you wait to hear if you’ve got the job first and then cross that bridge….You don’t want to spend unnecessary money.”

CHALLENGE
The next time you are speaking in English (perhaps making decisions in a meeting or with a friend) see if you can slip this phrase in and use it in a natural way!

(Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash)

Published by

TheEnglishEnglishTeacher

Nicki is a Cambridge qualified, experienced English teacher for foreign learners. She loves helping English learners to learn real English and communicate with confidence!

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