Idioms to Know to Pass the TOEFL Exam and Improve Your American English Fluency

English idioms and pronunciation for ESL learners and accent reduction

Can’t see the forest for the trees? Read on for more English idioms!

A big part of passing the TOEFL exam is the spoken portion, which is able to help with tremendously. You also need to equip yourself with the knowledge of common phrases in English, not the least of which are common idioms in American English.

Why? Because from time to time, these common sayings in English tend to pop upon the TOEFL exam, in the written or spoken portion of the test, so being able to spot them when reading or listening is key.

Here are five common American English idioms to help you pass the TOEFL exam with flying colors!

Cat’s got your tongue: Suggesting that the reason you are unable to speak or answer a question is because you don’t know what to say.

Used in a sentence:

Why won’t you tell me if you’re dating other people? Cat’s got your tongue?

Easier said than done: This is to suggest that whatever is being proposed is easy to talk about, but harder to accomplish in real terms.

Used in a sentence:

Yes, we could build a replica of the Eiffel Tower for our theme park, but that’s easier said than done.

Right from the horse’s mouth: This means that whatever information is being conveyed is coming directly from the primary source.

Used in a sentence:

We’re all getting raises after Thanksgiving, Jerry heard it from the CEO, right from the horse’s mouth!

Can’t see the forest for the trees: To be so caught up in what’s going on right in front of you that you miss the overall purpose or goal at hand.

Used in a sentence:

Julia is so in love with her engagement ring she can’t see the forest for the trees—doesn’t she realize her fiance spent every dime he had on it? What about saving for the future?

Gone to the dogs: When a project or effort has gone so wayward that there’s no saving it.

Used in a sentence:

The Henderson account has gone to the dogs—we won’t even be able to salvage their inventory because of the fire.