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If I search “burst fetters” in Google there are only historical texts in results. So, can I say “Maybe, one bright day humanity will burst fetters of violence and cruelty” if I don’t mean anything related to the slavery but want to say “to get free, to get rid of”?

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Try this

"...humanity will burst its fetters"

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  • Thanks for the advice! Does other part of my sentence sound correctly?
    – Aer
    Nov 22 '17 at 23:20
  • Yes. Although I would either delete the comma after "maybe" or add a second comma after "bright day". I would favor deleting it.
    – DLCross
    Nov 22 '17 at 23:31
  • hm, could you please explain why this comma should be deleted? (I’m not really good at English punctuation 🙂)
    – Aer
    Nov 22 '17 at 23:33
  • I agree with deleting the first comma and adding the second one after "day" and before "humanity. I also agree with "burst its fetters." It makes no sense when it says "burst fetters of violence." I looked up the word "fetters" to see whether there was a definition I didn't know that Aer was trying to use. There is none, however.
    – Nick
    Nov 22 '17 at 23:35
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    Commas are notoriously tricky in English. There aren't a lot of consistent rules. However, after taking a fresh look at the sentence, I see the problem. My initial advice was wrong. The dependent clause is "Maybe one bright day". The comma should therefore be after "bright day", not after "maybe".
    – DLCross
    Nov 22 '17 at 23:36
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Grammatically the answer "burst its fetters" or "burst the fetters" is fine, but at least to me, as a metaphor it does not quite flow.

Fetters are bonds or chains, like manacles or a ball and chain, something that prevents free movement. It doesn't quite sound right to say these are made of violence and cruelty. I feel it's slightly more logical to say instead:

break free of their fetters forged from violence and cruelty

However, I'm not sure this is really an English argument, as I think the metaphor would not be quite right in many languages. Systemic violence is used to create bonds, but it is not itself the binding material.

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We can also "burst free from" something.

The prisoners burst free from the prison.

One day, humanity will burst free from ...

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