Is there is a phrase for when you're very close to achieving something you've been working on?

When the detective gets that final clue, but hasn't quite solved the mystery yet. When you've done 90% of the work and rest is easily achievable.

I keep thinking it's something like "you can taste it", or "the home straight" but that doesn't quite sound right

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    Using an American football analogy, you could say you're at the one-yard line. But as I think about it, I'm not at all sure that's common even in America. Aug 7, 2014 at 17:27
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    There's also the 90/90 rule, though I have a feeling that's not what you meant...
    – Telastyn
    Aug 7, 2014 at 17:37
  • "All we lack is finishing up". :-)
    – Les
    Aug 7, 2014 at 17:43
  • The 90/90 rule was what first came to mind, but "we're in the home stretch" is the phrase I'd likely choose.
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 8, 2014 at 0:53

4 Answers 4


You could say on the verge

a limit beyond which something occurs; brink ⇒ on the verge of ecstasy [Collins]

Alternatives are

threshold: the starting point of an experience, event, or venture [Collins]

and brink: the verge of an event or state [Collins]

A phrase along the lines you mentioned is home stretch

The last part of an activity or campaign [Oxford Dictionary Online]

  • Synonymously, on the cusp.
    – talrnu
    Aug 7, 2014 at 20:39
  • @talrnu That sounds like an answer to me.
    – bib
    Aug 7, 2014 at 21:01

You could say the job is "all but finished". It literally means everything has been done except for declaring the job finished, or perhaps performing some finishing touches. Not to be confused with "anything but finished" which has the exact opposite meaning.


I believe you're thinking of the home stretch:

that part of a race course between the last curve and the winning post.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary


Wait for it...

(like when a little kid wants to grab the dish of ice cream before his mother is done filling it)

You are burning up!

(from the little kids' game Hide-the-thimble. The closer you get to finding it, the warmer you are. When you've just about discovered it, the others shout this phrase.)

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