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First things first

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  • First things first is a phrase that is often used in English. We will examine the meaning of the phrase first things first, the proper spelling, and some examples of its use in sentences.

    First things first is a phrase that means one should prioritize which items are most important, and deal with them before other, less important items. Exactly which items may be considered most important in any given situation may be up to interpretation. Usually, people use the term first things first when the most important need is obvious. The phrase first things first was used as a title of a best-selling book by Stephen Covey, a time management expert who built an empire teaching business people and others how to organize their lives. His first book was The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Note that there are no apostrophes in the spelling of the expression first things first. Many erroneously spell the word things with an apostrophe, as in thing’s. However, the word is neither a contraction nor a possessive noun. The word things, in this case, is simply a plural noun, and does not require an apostrophe.

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    Examples

    First things first, it is always best to have any injury looked at by your health care professional immediately. (The Shawnee News-Star)

    First things first, in Fiji, they pronounce the C in Laucala as TH, so when you arrive in Nadi International Airport on the main island of Viti Levu, the person whisking you to the front of the customs line on behalf of “Lauthala” is taking you to the right place. (The Daily North Shore)

    “First things first: you got to perfect the ability to squat your body weight properly,” Okerson says. (Men’s Health Magazine)

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