Cutting Through English: A Guide to Phrasal Verbs with Cut

Ellison Claptonreviewed byIryna Andrus / more about Editorial Process7 min
Created: Jul 20, 2023Last updated: Feb 22, 2024
Phrasal Verbs with Cut

Picture this: you’re conversing, and someone says, ‘Let’s cut to the chase.’ Do you know what they mean? This ‘cut’ phrasal verb is one of many expressions that baffle English learners due to their often non-literal meanings. But don’t get overwhelmed – we’re here to simplify it. This guide will dissect various ‘cut’ verbs, breaking down their meanings and providing real-life examples.

Why Learn Phrasal Verbs With Cut

Phrasal verbs are a fundamental aspect of the English language. They intertwine a verb with a preposition or adverb. These combinations, often quite distinct from the meanings of their parts, are crucial in daily conversation and written communication. The phrases infuse English with richness and nuance, making them a popular choice for natives and a must-learn for non-native speakers.

You might wonder why phrasal verbs with ‘cut’ deserve special attention. The answer lies in the word’s inherent flexibility. ‘Cut’ is rich in metaphorical potential, lending itself to various contexts, from cooking and crafting to decision-making and abrupt conversation endings. 

Just like the phrasal verbs with ‘get,’ ‘cut’ phrases are sprinkled across literature, films, and everyday dialogues, quietly making English richer. Grasping their meaning will upgrade your communication abilities, helping you sound more fluent and confident. Therefore, diving into phrasal verbs with ‘cut’ is wise for your language-learning journey.

Detailed Examination: Common Cut Phrasal Verbs

Next, we will look at specific phrases. Our spotlight will focus on some of English conversation’s most common and versatile expressions. We’ll provide easy-to-understand definitions and illustrative cutting word examples to showcase their usage in everyday language.

Cut off

  •  Disconnect.

The phone service was disconnected because we couldn’t cover the bill. The company decided to cut it off as a consequence.

  • Stop.

As her friend kept talking, she felt overwhelmed and chose to cut off the conversation, pleading a sudden headache abruptly.

  • Isolate or make inaccessible.

After a heavy snowfall, the mountain village was cut off from the rest of the world, a peaceful yet isolated winter wonderland.

  • Disinherit.

After multiple disagreements and fights, the unhappy billionaire cut off his eldest son from inheriting any part of his fortune.

Cut out

  • Remove or exclude.

Deciding to make a health-conscious change, she resolved to cut out sugar from her daily diet.

  • Engine failure. 

The day it was least expected, the car’s engine cut out at a busy intersection, causing much confusion and panic.

  • Separating images. 

For her art project, she cut out various images from old magazines for a unique collage effect. 

  • Leave quickly.

Seeing the gathering security personnel marching their way due to their mischief, they thought it was best to cut out before things escalated.

Cut out on

  • Let down.

Despite pledging her help during the planning process, she heartlessly cut out on the team at crucial moments.

  • Break a promise or commitment.

He vowed to assist with their project, but when presented with a better opportunity, he swiftly cut out on them. 

Cut back

  • Decrease or Reduce.

The selling rate was so stagnant and slow that the business had to cut back production significantly.

  • Prune for better growth. 

Maintaining a beautiful garden, he would cut back the vines and trees annually during winter, encouraging a new flourish in spring.

Cut across

  • Traverse a place for shorter travel.

Seeing it was late, they cut across the quiet park, making their way home faster.

  • Affect various strata of society or groups. 

The new regulations cut across all industries, affecting big and small businesses.

Cut in

  • Begin to operate.

It is essential to note that the cooling fans cut in when the car engine begins overheating.

  • Forcefully enter a lane.

A reckless driver abruptly cut in ahead of us and nearly caused a terrible accident – we barely escaped by inches!

  • Interfere or interrupt

They were deeply involved in their conversation when he rudely came forward and cut in, perplexing them with his intrusion.

  • Participate in a profitable activity. 

To avoid legal entanglements, they felt the need to cut the police in on their secretive deal.

Cut through 

  • Solve a complex problem efficiently.

She skillfully cut through the red tape that delayed us, quickly finalizing the deal. 

  • Pass directly through an area rather than going around it. 

Despite knowing that the park was locked up for renovations, we decided to cut through it as there was no other faster way home.

Cut down

  • Decrease consumption of something.

After her doctor’s advice, she decided to cut down the salt from her food for a healthier lifestyle.

  • Shoot.

The aggressive storm was so powerful that it cut down numerous trees in its path, leaving devastation behind.

  • Reducing something high to ground level.

The forest was cut down to make way for a new highway.

Cut up

  • Cut into smaller pieces.

She cut up the vegetables for the soup.

  • Drive dangerously close.

While driving onto the motorway, a reckless red Mini car cut her up, forcing her to abruptly halt and avoid an unforeseen accident. 

  • Feel emotional distress.

Her off-hand remark affected him more than he would admit; the harsh words cut him up.


Helping Tools: How to Memorize Phrases with Cut

Memorizing phrasal verbs, such as those with ‘cut,’ can seem daunting. However, it becomes more accessible with the right approach and some effective tools. Here are some helpful tips to remember these phrases:

  • Understand Context. Understand the meaning of each phrasal verb and how it fits into a sentence. For instance, you can write and practice sample sentences in different contexts. 
  • Use Flashcards. Write each phrasal verb on one side of a card and its meaning and an example sentence on the other. Regularly review these cards to refresh your memory. This hands-on method is a popular way to reinforce new vocabulary.
  • Practice Regularly. Incorporate phrases in your daily conversation and writing. The more you utilize them, the better you’ll remember their meaning and proper usage.
  • Learn in Chunks. Instead of memorizing all at once, learn a few at a time. It avoids overwhelming your memory, making the learning process more manageable.
  • Create a Story. Make up a story using as many phrasal verbs as possible. It not only makes learning fun but also helps in better recall.
  • Group Phrasal Verbs. For example, ‘cut off,’ ‘cut out,’ and ‘cut back’ imply some form of reduction or elimination. To remember them better, you could create a mental image of cutting away parts.

With these tips and tools, you can make learning ‘cut’ verbs more efficient and enjoyable. The key is consistent practice and usage in different contexts. Happy learning!

Learn Phrasal Verbs with Promova

If mastering phrasal verbs in English seems challenging, Promova is here to simplify the process. Our language-learning platform offers a variety of resources and tools that make understanding these tricky phrases easier. From lessons with relevant examples to interactive exercises, we provide everything needed for effective learning.

If you aim to enhance other areas of English as well, Promova is the place to be! Our guided courses cover basic grammar rules, complex sentence structures, and common idioms. This broad-picture approach guarantees you will fully develop all language aspects with everyday practice.

Our blog is another resource teeming with informative articles and engaging content covering various topics, from grammar tips to cultural nuances. With articles that cover common phrasal verbs, CV writing advice, frequently confused words, and more – there is a wealth of knowledge for you to delve into.

Also, join our free Conversation club! It’s more than just a study group; it’s a community where learners gather for practice with peers under tutor supervision. Participate in discussions about health, hobbies, and technologies, and get useful materials after the event.


A solid grasp of ‘cut’ phrasal verbs can significantly help you enhance your English comprehension. Even though these expressions may seem tricky at first glance, breaking them down and practicing their usage regularly can make learning easier. With patience and consistency, you’ll soon use these phrases like a pro in daily conversations!


Is it essential to learn phrasal verbs with ‘cut’?

Phrasal verbs, including those with ‘cut,’ are integral to English. They make your language richer and more natural-sounding. While not essential for basic communication, they greatly enhance your fluency and comprehension.

Are there rules for creating phrasal verbs with ‘cut’?

These expressions don’t follow strict rules, making them a bit challenging. The phrasal verb pairs ‘cut’ with a preposition or an adverb to form various meanings. Understanding the context is the best way to comprehend and use these phrasal verbs effectively.

Is using phrasal verbs with ‘cut’ in formal writing okay?

While phrasal verbs are common in English conversation and informal writing, they may not always be suitable for formal writing. In such cases, using more specific mainstream vocabulary is recommended.

What resources can help me learn phrasal verbs with ‘cut’?

Several online platforms can help you learn phrasal verbs. Online dictionaries like Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries or Cambridge Dictionary provide clear definitions and examples. They also offer quizzes and tests to practice your knowledge.


PromovaAug 29th, 2023
Phrasal verbs with the word 'cut' are indeed quite prevalent in everyday English conversations. They are used across a wide range of contexts, from casual chats among friends to formal business discussions. These phrasal verbs provide a concise and expressive way to convey various actions related to slicing, reducing, or eliminating something.
Brun Aug 29th, 2023
How frequently are phrasal verbs with 'cut' used in everyday english conversations?