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Last updated at 15:29 BST, Monday, 10 September 2012

End of an era

The sun sets over the Olympic park for the final time during London 2012.

The sun sets over the Olympic park for the final time during London 2012. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Today's Phrase

When a period of time, which is marked by a significant event, comes to an end, we say it is the end of an era.

For example:

We're going to be leaving university next week – it will be the end of an era.

The defending champion lost her title in the marathon, marking the end of an era for her athletics success.

Most people choose to download music nowadays. It's the end of an era for CDs.

Don't confuse it with

We also talk about the dawn of a new era, when describing something new, which is different to what came before it

For example:

We're getting a new manager next week and I've heard she wants to change everything – it's going to be the dawn of a new era in our office!

I finally decided to leave home and get a flat on my own – it's the dawn of a new era for me!

Interesting fact

The Paralympic Games closed in a spectacular ceremony in the Olympic stadium, marking the end of an era for London 2012. The Games have been widely cited as the most successful in history, with many world records broken throughout the fortnight. Seb Coe, chairman of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, said last night: "We will never think of disability in the same way."

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