• Cut Back – Phrasal Verb of the Day

    Today’s phrasal verb of the day is: Cut Back


    Infinitive form: Cut Back

    Present tense: Cut Back/ Cuts Back

    ing form: Cutting Back

    Past tense: Cut Back

    Participle: Cut Back


    Cut Back is a separable English phrasal verb. Cut Back means reducing or using something less. The context is generally around but not limited to consumption as well as money. Its meaning can be used in three different ways:


    When you spend less money on something

    1. If I don’t cut expenses back to a minimum, I think I might end up with having nothing to eat by next week.

    2. Since Brad has set his eyes on the latest gadget, he cuts back on spending money for video games.


    When you consume less food (liquid or solid)

    1. Friends warned Benny that if he doesn’t cut back on fast food, he might end up looking like the human version of Barney the Dinosaur.

    2. Since Benny has been criticized on his appearance, he is now cutting back on french fries; he now orders the regular size fries and no longer upgrades his soda.

    3. I wish you’d cut back on coffee so you wouldn’t have to be jittery whenever the teacher calls your name in class.


    When you do something less often

    1. The nutritionist advised the athlete to lead a more balanced lifestyle by cutting back on training and adding more carbohydrates to his diet.

    2. If you really want to quit smoking, my advice is to cut back a little on a weekly basis.


    Note: Cutback (n.) when used as a noun, means that the value spent on something is reduced.

    i.e.: The cutback in production cost has frustrated the producers of the film.


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    Exercises: Write your answers in comments and we will correct them.

    Fill in the gaps from the video above:

    Hans: Sardine? Bonnie: I’m trying to ___ ___.


    Exercises: Fill in the blanks below to complete the sentence with the correct form of Cut Back.


    1. The annual reports indicate that if the company won’t ____ the daily expenses ___, the company might be in danger of suffering significant financial losses by the end of the year.

    2. They said that moderation is key to a well-balanced diet. I think you should be _____ ___ on cholesterol, before you gain extra weight.

    3. ____ __ on sweets may be a good option for people who have hypertension.

    4. Sally thinks that her husband ought to be more consistent with his effort to ___ __ on his drinking. The problem is, he is inconsistent in _____ ___ and oftentimes drink more than he has compared to the previous nights.

    5. My mother told me that I need to learn to distinguish between want and need.  She told me that I may need to ____ ___  on shopping a little since I don’t really need all those shoes anyway.


    Change the example sentences above to negative sentences (or positive, if the sentence is already negative). Then change them to questions.

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