put the cart before the horse

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put the cart before the horse

To do things out of the proper order. If you put the cart before the horse and pick out your dream car before you have any money saved up for a down payment, you'll just end up disappointed.
See also: before, cart, horse, put

put the cart before the horse

Fig. to have things in the wrong order; to have things confused and mixed up. (Also with have.) You're eating your dessert first! You've put the cart before the horse. John has the cart before the horse in most of his projects.
See also: before, cart, horse, put

put the cart before the horse

If you put the cart before the horse, you do things in the wrong order. Creating large numbers of schools before we've improved school management is putting the cart before the horse. Let's not put the cart before the horse. Let's actually find out what the problem is before we try to solve it. Note: Cart and horse are also used in many other structures and expressions with a similar meaning. They want to go down the road with the cart before the horse and spend the money before they have made it. These kids are encouraged to compete before they actually have the skills to win. We've got ourselves a cart-before-the-horse situation.
See also: before, cart, horse, put

put the cart before the horse

reverse the proper order or procedure of something.
A medieval version of this expression was set the oxen before the yoke . The version with horse and cart dates from the early 16th century.
1998 Spectator It's putting the cart before the horse. All history shows that if you want to create a political union, you do that first and the single currency follows.
See also: before, cart, horse, put

put the ˌcart before the ˈhorse

put or do things in the wrong order: Don’t plan the menu before deciding how many people to invite — it’s like putting the cart before the horse.
See also: before, cart, horse, put
References in classic literature ?
The cart before the horse is neither beautiful nor useful.
The common notion that religion underwrites morality thus tends to put the cart before the horse.
And Scots Secretary Michael Forsyth is ready to argue that a referendum before a Bill has passed through Parliament is really "putting the cart before the horse.
The administration has put the cart before the horse throughout this process and is learning the hard way that the Ashington scheme does not hold water, as projected costs are spiralling and basic matters like sufficient parking spaces have not even been properly addressed.
The minister is attempting to put the cart before the horse.
This plan is just another indicator of how our health service consistently puts the cart before the horse.
The lawsuit reads, The Air District has acted prematurely and essentially put the cart before the horse.
Can I suggest that she is putting the cart before the horse by asking shoppers to change their habits.
This government puts the cart before the horse and expects a successful journey," Butkevicius said.
Borde said the problem is that the French President Nicolas Sarkozy is putting the cart before the horse, indicating to a "strange contradiction" in the French attitude.
First, good timing is crucial and there is the real danger of putting the cart before the horse," he will say.
Putting the cart before the horse will not move the peace process forward," said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations.
It is all the wrong way round putting the cart before the horse.
While some have hailed Jonathan for his intervention in the cement subsector of the economy, others are of the view that the Federal Government is putting the cart before the horse because it has not created an enabling environment that would give local manufacturers a competitive edge to effect price reduction dictated purely by market forces.