Session 4

Vocabulary: 9 uses of 'cut'

Sit back and enjoy the story of Little Red Riding Hood - and learn nine different ways to use the word 'cut'.

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    Activity 1
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Activity 2

What will happen to Little Red Riding hood?

The big, bad wolf!
How do you think the story will end?

A) The wolf eats Grandma and Little Red Riding Hood for dinner
B) The wolf is killed  
C) Grandma jumps out of the wardrobe and saves Little Red Riding Hood
D) Something else 

To do

Watch the video and find out which option is correct. And listen out for four more uses of cut.

Watch the video and complete the activity

Show transcript Hide transcript

Hello, it's Mariam again, with a story about bravery, adventure and a big bad wolf. Yes, it's Little Red Riding Hood. The wolf has broken into Grandma's house and has locked Grandma in the cupboard and is now waiting for Little Red Riding Hood. 

Luckily, some men who are cutting down trees in the forest hear her and come running to her rescue. They dash into the cottage, seize the wolf and threaten to cut him up into tiny little pieces - but they only have one axe, due to cutbacks. The wolf is terrified and runs off screaming into the forest, never to be seen again. Then the woodcutters hear a knocking on the cupboard door. One of them cautiously opens it and Grandma comes rushing out, jumping into the arms of the handsome, strong woodcutter. She gives him a big kiss, and says, "Ooh, that was a close one – but I feel a lot better now."

Little Red Riding Hood is very pleased to see her Grandma looking so spritely and gives her the basket of fruit. In return she offers Little Red some advice: never talk to strangers – unless of course they're a handsome woodcutter! And the wolf? He was never to be seen again – but keep an eye out for him, just in case…

Well, that's the end of my story. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope to see you again soon.

To do

So, the correct answer was D) Something else. The wolf is chased away and Grandma and Little Red Riding Hood are safe. Grandma even meets a handsome man!

Now lets practise the different uses of cut. Have a go at this quiz.

What's the use of 'cut'?

5 Questions

Choose the best expression with cut to fill each gap.

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y

Over to you

We asked you to tell us a story using as many of the phrases with cut as possible:

  • cut out 
  • to cut a long story short 
  • cut (someone) short 
  • shortcut 
  • cut to the chase
  • cut down
  • woodcutter
  • cut (someone/something) up 
  • cutbacks 

Your Stories:

Zahid Hussain Khan, Pakistan

"Due to recent cutbacks in lately approved government budget, many people have to cut out expensive food from outside. Labour class, specially woodcutters, find it difficult to survive on such low wages. Due to recent tax on wood labour, It is expected that they will stop cutting down trees. To cut a long story short, for the poor it has become difficult to survive. A study shows that many of them take shortcuts to earn big amount through illicit means is reason for increasing crime rate." My colleague explained the after effects of the budget.

"I don’t agree with this argument" I cut him short before he completes. Cutting to the chase, he continued "I think government will have to take back the decision of tax imposition on woodcutters". I agreed and said "If the divide between rich & poor keep increasing, the poor will cut the rich up for the money".


Utku Doğru, Turkey

I and my parents go to village to steer clear of the excessive hot weather every summer. Also, this rural area’s air is much cleaner than city. There aren’t too many cars like city. So you’re far away from the exhaust fume and noise pollution. We set off our journey in the morning. It’s the best way to get there taking the shortcut. It’s definitely save our time. We can arrive there early than usual. The road is encircled by trees. While I was driving woodcutters catched my attention. They were cutting down trees. Initially,I wondered why they were doing it but I didn’t go over.

At last,we arrived our home. We were all were hungry. My father cut chicken up and fried it for dinner. It was so delicious. During the dinner I wanted to talked about politics,up-to-date issues and so on but my parents cut me short. Obviously,they wanted to keep their mind relax for a while on holiday. After the dinner,my mother offered me my favourite dessert but I told her that I’ve cut on [BBC Learning English says: cut down on or cut out] desserts recently to stay fit. At the end, I was so tired and went my bed a bit early. I was out like a light. The following day, I get up early to go for a walk. I run into some indigenous and asked them about trees which were cut down. Appearently, they didn’t have much time. So they cut to the chase and told that in the pursuit of wind tribunes.’Village’s been short of electricity supply’ they added. I wished there would be an another way to generate electricity for village. I felt sorry about trees. But they told me there was nothing to do with it.

Let’s cut a long story short after holiday when I started to my university. I decided to attend afforestation club.I  got involved some nice projects. I supported planting trees and protect our environment. In addition to, I learned the ways of making cutbacks of using electricity. Eventually, I was so happy about being a part of this team. I hope everything goes very well for us and our environment.


Bernard Kamau

It was april this year during rain season as usual when a bough fell over our house's roof at night which cut our sleep short.
To cut the story short then in the morning my father sent me to call a man in the next village whom is a woodcutter.
Then i took a short cut which went through the small forest which diving up two villages. While i was on my way in the forest i saw two people cutting up firewood the branches of the tree they had cut down.

But i cut to the chase and went to the woodcutter's home. As we were coming back along with woodcutter i imagined what if those loggers cut down all trees in our village's forest and answer was certainly there would be no enough rain which would cause water cut backs in this region because we entirely depend on rain water. After we  have come back ,woodcutter asked my father "you should have cut this bough the very moment it has came over the house roof"

And finally he advised my father to cut out any bough grow toward the top of house roof.


Mario from Italy

Last week my brother-in-law came to my house for dinner. We started eating after he explained to me a shortcut that he had travelled to get to my house. Our TV was on and the news bulletin after reporting on cutbacks by the government in public spending, started reporting on the environmental problem of deforestation, showing images of woodcutters cutting down trees. Since my brother-in-law is a bit of an environmentalist, he began to talk about any environmental issue and continued throughout the dinner. Just while I was cutting my tasty steak up, he said that we should cut out meat because of greenhouse gas emissions. I didn’t want to be rude and cut him short but I wished he would cut a long story short. He definitely didn’t have a gift for cutting to the chase. Anyway, as they say, you can choose your friends but not your family. 


That's the end of Session 4. In session 5, Tim's in the pronunciation workshop, talking about law, order and the intrusive 'r'. Don't miss it!

Session Vocabulary

  • cut out (C1)
    stop eating

    to cut a long story short (C1)
    to only talk about the most important or interesting details

    cut (someone) short (C2)
    stop (someone) from finishing what they are saying or doing

    shortcut (B2)
    different route or direction that saves time

    cut to the chase (C2)
    don't waste time, just get to the important bit

    cutting down (A2)
    making a tree fall to the ground by cutting it near the base

    woodcutters (B2)
    people whose job is to cut down trees

    cut (someone/something) up
    use a sharp tool to separate something into pieces

    cutbacks (C2)
    reduction in money available to spend


    A1 = Beginner
    A2 = Elementary
    B1 = Lower Intermediate
    B2 = Higher Intermediate
    C1 = Towards Advanced
    C2 = Advanced