UP - Useful Phrases

Cut to the Chase

Have you heard the phrase, "to make a long story short"? People sometimes realize that the stories they are telling are growing wearisome because of their length. To finish a story quickly and signal to listeners that you don't intend to say much more, you can begin conclusions with this phrase.


Here's another phrase, and it is similar. The idiom, "cut to the chase," is a verb phrase used in a different context, meaning, "get to the point." Sometimes it signals to the hearer of bad news that there is no easy way to deliver it and that it is better to simply say what must be said. At other times, the hearer might ask the bearer of bad news to simply deliver it. The hearer would then say, "Just cut to the chase, John," for example.


We make decisions about how many details to include in the stories we tell friends or acquaintances, just like a film editor decides which scenes in a movie are necessary, and which are unnecessary, or, say, a novelist. "The chase" is the point you want to make, and "cut to the chase" is what someone does to avoid wasting time. "Cut to the chase" was first used in the silent film cutting (editing) room about 100 years ago, and "the chase" was literally a chase scene, which was packed with action and exciting to movie goers.

Example sentences
To make a long story short, all that panic had been for nothing.

There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll cut to the chase.