I know this expression in my own language, and I think I've heard it a couple of times in English, but it completely slipped my mind. I can give an example to make it easier for you to understand what expression I'm looking

I wanted to ask her out. But then she spoke. "You wanna grab dinner, or something". (expression)

Basically something saying; she got the before me. Or something like that. Sorry if this is too vague, but please try your best. If there's any Norwegians reading this question, here's the expression or phrase in Norwegian: "Å komme noen i forveien".

Alright, hope I gave you all enough to work with. I think it's a pretty common expression. Also, sorry for the really bad written example. I just need to make something quick, it simply there to paint a picture.

2 Answers 2


She beat me to it

The phrase beat someone to it is often used when someone else performs an action before one who intends to perform it.

A somewhat less positive alternative is jump the gun which means to do something before it is appropriate to do it. For your example, that may have been used in a somewhat old fashioned society which considers girls taking the lead in dating inappropriate!

  • Exactly what I was talking about. I had just forgotten the phrase. Thanks for the other one though, I didn't know about it, but now I do.
    – A. Kvåle
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 15:05
  • 1
    there is also a "took the wind from my sails" idiom where someone getting out ahead removes the force behind the other. ... and metaphorically can be used even for someone who spoke first at a meeting and proposed the points you meant to .
    – Tom22
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 18:34
  • At risk of looking like a sour grape, may I suggest that in a formal context the examples I gave might be appropriate: The opposition pre-empted our proposal by doing X and their defence anticipated our strategy in every detail.
    – Aethelbald
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 21:35
  • @Aethelbald, I agree, in a formal setting. My answer to the title question would have been "anticipatory" but the example given in the question suggested a less formal tone.
    – Pam
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 7:13
  • @Pam, indeed...
    – Aethelbald
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 21:02

in anticipation or pre-emptively.

Google translates "Å komme noen i forveien" as "Getting someone in advance" which looks roughly equivalent.

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