cross that bridge

“Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it”


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.


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’. You discuss it with your husband:

“What do you think? Shall I email Ben and Kate and let them know that they can’t smoke in the house?

“No, don’t worry about it. Let’s just cross that bridge if/when we come to it. I don’t think they will light up in the house.”

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’. You discuss it with your friend:

“I think I’d better go shopping this weekend.”

“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.”

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!


So when was the last time you chose not to make a decision now but to ‘cross that bridge’ later? Let me know by leaving a comment below to practise using this expression 🙂

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

2 thoughts on ““Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it”

  1. I have just booked a trip to South America for next year. I don’t know where I’m going to stay yet but I’ll cross that bridge later…can I say that Nicki?

    1. Yes absolutely! Great example Lou, thanks for sharing it 🙂 And have a brilliant trip!

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