to cut it fine: meaning and explanation

If you are cutting it fine, then you are allowing yourself very little time to do whatever you need to do, and there is a real possibility that you will run out of time.

This idiom can be used when discussing plans that have very strict time constraints or very tight deadlines. e.g. We’re cutting it a bit fine, but I think we’ll have everything ready for the start of the inspection.

This is also a useful idiom to use when you are concerned that someone has not given themselves enough time to do something, or that they are not taking the time shortage seriously. In this situation, this idiom can be used with a question tag to indicate concern: You’re cutting it a bit fine, aren’t you?

Have a go at these micro-dictation exercises to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?

Listening exercises

Dictation #1

Accent: England (RP)

. .
I think we further . We’re as it .
I don’t think we afford any further . We’re cutting it as it is.

About the sentence

…we’re cutting it fine as it is

As it is is a slightly more formal alternative to already. e.g. I don’t think we should approve this extra funding. We’ve spent too much money on this as it is.

Dictation #2

Accent: Scotland

Available soon

Dictation #3

Accent: Ireland

Available soon

Photo by Adam Sherez on Unsplash

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