When Someone is telling you something in great details and you want to find out what they are going to indicate at last, you would ask them to cut the matter short and tell you the main subject (perhaps their purpose) and let you know what they intend to say in short and avoid giving you more details about the topic under discussion.

I have found an idiom and a word, but I have no idea if using them this way would sound natural to you:

If not, then let me know what shall I say instead.


Your request is to

find out the main idea
cut to the heart of the matter
get the gist of the story
cut to the chase

of something. Either heart of the matter or gist can be used.

  • Do you mean I can say: "cut / get to the heart of the matter" and "get the gist of story" and both mean the same @Peter? Just didn't take your point. :( – A-friend Feb 12 '17 at 23:02
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    Yes, you can say "Let's get to the heart of the matter." which would mean let's discuss the "bare bones" of where our disagreement might be to more quickly find agreement. "I get the gist of your story"="I understand the general idea of what you are trying to say." or "The gist of the story is he was wrong." to cut an explanation short. – Peter Feb 12 '17 at 23:09

Instead of tell, I would use get to.

Please get to the heart of the matter.

(The verbal phrase get to in a context like this one urges the listener to get to the matter quickly.)

There is also this idiom:

Please cut to the chase.

Wikipedia says this idiom means: get to the point without wasting time

  • But "Cut to the chase" means "talk about the most important thing that you want to bring up" @J.R. and what I need to say is t say: "just tell me your intent without more details". :) – A-friend Feb 12 '17 at 22:59
  • Meanwhile, you didn't mention something about the usage of the word; "gist" @J.R. – A-friend Feb 12 '17 at 23:00
  • @A-friend - From your question: "let you know what they intend to say in short and avoid giving you more details about the topic under discussion” – that’s a pretty good description of “cut to the chase.” And no, I didn’t mention gist. There are several ways to ask someone to get to the point, and I wasn’t going to try to list them all. – J.R. Feb 13 '17 at 1:33
  • Thank you very much @J.R. But using the word "gist" in this meaning was a part of the matter which I needed to know about it. I didn't want to have a list of interchangeable sentences of this sense, what I needed was just knowing if gist works. If yes, what is the most common way of using this word in the sense of the phrase "cutting to the chase"? :) – A-friend Feb 13 '17 at 20:08
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    @A-friend - The way you used it is just fine: Please tell [me] the gist of the matter. – J.R. Feb 13 '17 at 20:18

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