I'm writing a thesis, and have to bring up a concept which is part of the topic in the following section. I suppose I am looking for an idiomatic way to "excuse" this break of flow.

In Norwegian there is a phrase/idiom for bringing up a topic earlier than what would seem natural: "foregripe begivenheten". Directly translated it is "anticipate the event", but this does not seem fitting.

Edit: Many great answers below. I simply accepted the one I ended up using. This is not to say that any of the other answers are less good. I wouldn't know.

  • Something like a flash-forward? Perhaps an example would help clarify what you're asking for.
    – Lawrence
    May 15, 2018 at 13:59
  • 1
    'Give a sneak preview' works in informal registers. 'If I might anticipate myself, ...' could be used in a lecture. May 15, 2018 at 17:08
  • If the reader will interpret it as a break in flow, then it clearly isn’t necessary. Change your text so that it is natural to introduce your topic and then introduce without apology.
    – Jim
    May 16, 2018 at 4:07

3 Answers 3


At first I thought "jump the gun" might work here. However, I think a better choice would be to "get ahead of myself".

From wiktionary get ahead of oneself

  • (idiomatic) To speak or write in a manner in which one makes points out of logical or chronological sequence.
  • (idiomatic) To develop an opinion based on insufficient information or to take action prematurely.
  • (idiomatic) To focus excessively on one's plans or on prospective future events without paying adequate attention to the present.

So one might say, "I may be getting ahead of myself here, but I wish to mention that .... "


to anticipate (the topic)

2.1 Come or take place before (an event or process expected or scheduled for a later time)
‘this is to anticipate the argument’



If the idea is to give a hint of what might follow:

foreshadow from Oxford Living Dictionaries

Be a warning or indication of (a future event)

‘other new measures are foreshadowed in the White Paper’

‘It establishes a mood and foreshadows future events.’

'Foreshadow' is a bit more common to my ear when used as a device in fiction or film yet the examples in the dictionary above use it more broadly.

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