Have you ever seen a phrase written two different ways and weren’t sure which one is correct? One common example of this is “suffice it to say” and “suffice to say”. Some people believe that it is only acceptable to use “suffice to say”, while others believe that it is only acceptable to use “suffice it to say”.
In reality, both ways the phrase is written can be used. “Suffice it to say” has always been considered standard and is still used more frequently than “suffice to say”. However, it is becoming regularized to use suffice to say instead.
Suffice it to Say
“Suffice it to say” means that something is to be enough, adequate, or sufficient for a specific purpose. What this means is that when someone provides information starting with this phrase, they are only providing the information that is necessary to get to the point.
The first record of the phrase “suffice it to say” being used dates all the way back to the late 1600s. It is believed that the phrase originated from “it is sufficient to say”.
The phrase can also be used in a somewhat humorous way that indicates something being said is an understatement. Take giving a cat a bath for example. You could say, “suffice it to say the cat did not have a good time in the bath.”
You will mostly use this phrase at the beginning of a sentence, but it can be also used in the middle for extra emphasis. For example, “she forgot it was his birthday and, suffice it to say, he was really mad“.
The word “it” in “suffice it to say” is an indefinite pronoun, meaning it is basically a placeholder with no real meaning. For this reason, most people are beginning to omit the “it” completely.
Suffice it to say, I come from a big family.
So, suffice it to say, they should ensure their jobs are done.
Suffice to Say
“Suffice” to say is also used as an indication that one is saying enough to make the meaning clear while withholding some information. This phrase is the same as “suffice it to say”, except it removes the unnecessary “it” pronoun. Due to this, the three-word version of the phrase is becoming more popular than the four-word version.
I won’t repeat what he said, suffice to say it was very offensive.
We were finally able to get him alone and, suffice to say it did not go well.
What About It Suffices to Say?
“It suffices to say” is considered the same as “suffice it to say” just with a different word order.” It suffices to say” is used commonly in both British and American English. However, it is not used anywhere near as frequently as “suffice it to say” or “suffice to say”. This is because it doesn’t sound as nice rolling off the tongue.
When trying to decide whether you should use suffice it to say or suffice to say, it can be kind of tricky to choose. Both versions of the phrase are correct and can be used. It is more common to use “suffice it to say” in writing instead of “suffice to say”.
Another form of the phrase is it suffices to say. This phrase is used way less frequently than the other two because it doesn’t sound as nice when you speak. All phrases are used in both British and American English, so you can really use whichever you prefer no matter where you are located.