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I was wondering if it is correct to say "I finally release a burden?"

Or should I say "I finally get released from a burden, as like "release somebody from something"?

What are some other usual ways to express the same meaning?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The word burden is derived from a Proto Germanic word that means "that which is borne (or carried)."

The modern English word burden has the same meaning both in metaphoric and literal senses. That is, a burden is a load that is carried on one's back, or a responsibility that is carried on one's shoulders.

Keeping that in mind, "releasing a burden" makes sense, since presumably you have control over the thing you are carrying. I think "released from a burden" sounds odd, and implies that the cart is driving the horse, if you follow my meaning.

I agree with Chris that "laying down a burden" is very common. Again, if you think of literally carrying a load, this makes sense.

You might also say you have "discharged your responsibilities or duties" if you are talking about a metaphorical burden, or "taken a load off" if you are talking about a physical burden (or even sometimes a metaphorical one).

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Very neat explanation. Thanks. +1 – Tarik Sep 3 '11 at 2:51

One "lays down a burden", or has "laid down a burden". One might "cast off" a burden as well, particularly if the burden was holding you back from something.

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Thanks! Is it correct to say "I finally release a burden?" Or should I say "I finally get released from a burden, as like "release somebody from something"? – Tim Sep 2 '11 at 21:43
I would say "I have finally been released FROM a burden", since you're the thing that is presumably roaming free now. – Chris B. Behrens Sep 2 '11 at 21:44
I wouldn't want to make too much of it, but to me there's a suggestion of mixed metaphors in any expression using both burden and release. A burden is something that weighs you down, but release suggests either opening a previously-closed escape route, or disentangling something that had you tied up. So I just don't think I'd put both words in the same sentence. – FumbleFingers Sep 2 '11 at 22:02
People often speak of 'spiritual burdens' or 'emotional burdens'; virtually all of these can be "released" as much as "lain down". One can "be released from" a burden if it has been imposed by an outside authority, say a boss, or a prison system. – Kyle Pearson Sep 3 '11 at 4:40

One can also be relieved of a burden.

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