General Writing and Grammar Help/meaning of "burn through"

Advertisement


Question
Dear Ted,
Can the expression "burn through" mean to "use up"? In other words, do the following sentences make sense?
1. My car burns through gas ( = it gets bad mileage)
2. Americans should learn to conserve water, not burn through it so quickly.
Also, if my understanding of the expression is correct, can you give me a few more examples of how to use it.

Answer
Dear Glen:

Can the expression "burn through" mean to "use up"? In other words, do the
following sentences make sense?
1. My car burns through gas ( = it gets bad mileage)

*** CORRECT. The usual express is "burns up gas."

*** CORRECT
2. Americans should learn to conserve water, not burn through it so quickly.

*** CORRECT

Also, if my understanding of the expression is correct, can you give me a few
more examples of how to use it.

*** John's father left him a substantial inheritance, which he burned through in just one year.

*** Jane was well-prepared for the final examination.  She burned through the questions in rapid order.

*** Although the novel is more than 600 pages, I intend to burn through it in one day.

Ted

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

Experience

I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.