74.- To cut a long story short (profesor)

 

Summary

Rob’s had a late night but we’re not sure why. He’s not giving Feifei all the details to save time – but is there another reason why he’s cutting his long story short? Learn a new English phrase and find out his reasons in this episode of The English We Speak.

Transcript

Rob
Hello and welcome to The English We Speak from BBC Learning English. I’m Rob…

Feifei
And hello, I’m Feifei. We’re here to teach you a real English phrase. Rob, if you don’t mind me saying, you look a bit… rough.

Rob
Rough? Well you would be, if you’d had the night I’ve just had.

Feifei
Oh yes? What happened?

Rob
Well, I went out for dinner with Neil, then we went to a pub and then I lost my wallet and… to cut a long story short… I got home at two o’clock this morning.

Feifei
Oh dear. But why ‘cut the long story short’? I want to hear the whole story.

Rob
No, you don’t – it would take too long and we haven’t got time – and anyway, it’s not that interesting – that’s why I’m just telling you the most important parts of the story.

Feifei
Right, so ‘to cut a long story short’ means to tell only the main or important parts of a story – not all the details. Hmm, that’s a shame Rob because I’m sure you had lots more to tell me.

Rob
Really? Well we’ve got to keep this programme short so shall we move on and hear some examples of this phrase in action….

Examples
So I spoke to the boss and to cut a long story short, I’m getting a promotion!

There was a technical problem with our plane which they couldn’t fix so to cut a long story short, we had to wait for another flight and we arrived a day late.

I met Geeta last year and to cut a long story short, we getting married tomorrow!

Feifei
So ‘to cut – or make – a long story short’ means to tell only the important parts about something that has happened and leaving out all the details. So Rob, you’re telling me you went out with Neil, lost your wallet and got home very very late?

Rob
Yes, that’s about it. Not very exciting – but the details are boring – that’s why my long story is short. Why do keep asking?

Feifei
Well actually Rob, it sounds like you’re telling a tall story – a story or fact that is difficult to believe.

Rob
Oh really, why do you say that?

Feifei
Well I spoke to Neil this morning and he said you didn’t go for dinner last night. You went straight to the pub, then another and another pub. And you left your wallet there so you had no money to get home and had to walk.

Rob
Ah well… that’s the long story. Did you really want all the details?

Feifei
Oh yes. Never cut a long story short if it’s a good one!

Rob
If you say so Feifei. Bye.

Feifei
Bye.

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