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The word "cut" is used when something is made smaller or shorter with a knife or scissors, or you’ll hear "cut" used when a person or thing is dropped from a group. This word can be used as a verb or as a noun.

  • Todd was cut from the basketball team because he isn’t as good as the other players. (past tense, passive voice)
  • He didn’t make the final cut. (singular noun)
  • The government cut some money out of the budget. (past tense)
  • There were budget cuts. (plural noun)
  • Sarah is cutting up a canteloupe. (present continuous tense)
  • Her hand has a small cut on it. (singular noun)
  • A professional hair stylist cuts my hair. (present tense)
  • She always gives me a nice (hair) cut. (noun)

Notice that when "cut" is used as a noun, it refers to a reduction.

  • The company had to make some cuts in spending.
  • Budget cuts resulted in less spending.
  • That was a big cut. (That was a big reduction.)
  • We cut out eating at restaurants in order to save money.
  • The company that Harold works for made across-the-board job cuts.

There are many idioms and expressions that use the word "cut."

  • Hey, cut it out! (Stop doing that.)
  • That guy just cut in line. (He rudely stepped in line before others who were waiting before him.)
  • This situation is not cut and dry. (It’s not obvious or simple.)
  • Those two kids are cut from the same cloth. (They behave the same way or are related.)
  • I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to cut you off. (cut one off = interrupt while speaking or on the phone)
  • You can’t wear cut offs in the pool. (cut offs = blue jeans or pants cut into shorts)
  • Okay, cut to the chase. (get to the main point)
  • This work doesn’t cut the mustard. (The quality of the work isn’t ver good.)
  • Hey, who cut the cheese? (Who farted?)
  • Insults cut the man down to size. (cut one down to size = to reduce a person’s stature through criticism)
  • Teachers often cut and paste assignments created by other teachers.
  • The director cut from camera one to camera two. (The director went from one camera to another while filming or taping.)
  • Cut! (stop filming or taping)

To see more examples, click here for the Purple Level.

Click here for more vocabulary.

May 3, 2019



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