idiom: to burn your bridges

idiom: to burn your bridges


Is there a good way to say this idiom in Spanish? Literally this means "incendiar sus puentes" but I don't think that it is said in Spanish.

to burn one's bridges (behind one) = to make decisions that can't be changed in the future or to leave a relationship with a person or organization in such an unpleasant way that you will never be welcome to return

For example:

He burnt his bridges back to me when he broke up with me in a text message.

You shouldn't burn your bridges when you leave a job.

If you scream at your boss when you quit you will probably burn your bridges.


updated SEP 6, 2017
edited by alba3
posted by alba3

2 Answers


"Quemar los puentes", Alba, not "incendiar". Works the same way as in English, otherwise.

updated SEP 6, 2017
posted by Gekkosan
Really? I had 6 students tonight from MX & S. America who had never heard "Quemar los puentes" por eso pensé que tal vez "incendiar" fuera mejor. Gracias. Do you think that most Spanish speakers know what it means? - alba3, ABR 7, 2010
I would think so. I have also seen references to the expression indicated by Aeroplod: "quemar las naves". One of the two ought to work! - Gekkosan, ABR 8, 2010
Se dice " por eso no se te da la mano" o se te cierran las puertas - pat1829, SEP 6, 2017

I have seen....Quemar las naves to mean burn one's bridges. It literally means to burn one's boats but this too is an expression with identical meaning.

updated ABR 8, 2010
posted by aeroplod
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