Some Important Idioms for SAT

Some Important Idioms


able + infinitive

access to


agree on + noun

agree on + gerund

agree to

aid + person/thing

allows for

appeal to


ask + infinitive

ask + person + infinitive

associate with

attribute to


base on

begin + infinitive

boom in

built by


care about

care for

centers on + person/thing

choose + infinitive

to be + composed of + thing

consistent with

contend that

consider + person/thing

continue + infinitive

contrast A with B

convert to

compare A to B


compare A with B


count on + person/thing

to credit with

give credit for


are in danger of + gerund

decide + infinitive

decide on + thing/person

delighted by

depend on

different from

difficult + infinitive

disclose to + person/organization

distinguish between X and Y

distinguish X from Y

draw on (take out)

draw + thing

to be drawn to + thing/person

dream of/about

dwindle from


easy to

elect to

elect + person

emerges from

enable + person + infinitive

encourage + person + infinitive

escape from

to be + essential to + person/thing

except for + person/thing

except for + gerund

explain to

expose to


fail to

flee from

forbid to

force + thing/person + infinitive

focus on + thing/person


get credit for/give credit for

grow from


grow out of


help + thing/person + infinitive


indicate that

indicate to + person


inherit from

invest in


leads to

localized in


Manage to

make + thing/person + verb (simple form)

mistake + thing/person + for


native to

a native of

need to

to be + necessary + infinitive


Originate in


permit + thing/person + infinitive

prized as

prized for

prohibit from + gerund

promise of + thing

promise to

published by

published in


range from X to Y

refer to

regard as

require + thing/person + infinitive

resemble + thing/person

results in

results from

rivalry between X and Y

the rivals X and Y


Save for

save from

seek + infinitive

seek + thing/person

seem + infinitive

sleep with

speak to + person

speak with + person


Take advantage of

teach + person + infinitive

teach + person + thing

tell + person

tie to

transmit to


Use + person/thing + infinitive

used + infinitive

to be + used to + gerund



to be + willing + infinitive

Tom is able to play the guitar with his toes.

Steve never has access to his dad’s bank account.T

Tom acts as a scout for GQ here in South America.

We agreed on the plan.We agreed on going to town.

We agreed to go away.

The magnifying glass aided his search.

Your schedule does not allow for much time.

He wants to appeal to my good sense.

She is as tired as I am.

He asked to go home.

He asked me to go home.

We never associate with Steve – he is far too tacky!

His tackiness can be attributed to too many comic books as a child.


I think that the movie Star Wars is based on a true story.

It soon began to rain.

There was a boom in the sale of yellow polka-dot bikinis as soon as Natalia Paris tried one on.

The Avro Arrow was built by proud Canadians.


Who cares about that?

I don’t care for your tone.

The story centers on the struggle for meaning in a chaotic universe.

I do it because I choose to do it.

The atom is composed of various parts.

Your story is not consistent with Joel’s story.

Joel contends that you are lying.

I consider you a friend.

If you continue to do that we will not be friends.

If you contrast Bill with you Bob, you find….

The new device will convert matter to energy.

Caliban is compared to a beast in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

(compare to stresses similarities).

Compared with you, I cannot sing well at all.

(compare with stresses differences).

I count on you for the correct answers.

Columbus is credited with discovering the Americas.

I have to give you credit for working so hard.


The robber was in danger of being captured.

We decided to leave the party early.

We decided on the all-meat pizza.

Steve was delighted by the new findings.

Steve depends on Joel for financial support.

Canadians are very different from Americans.

Steve finds it difficult to dance to Latin music.

Joel decided to disclose to the world the truth about Steve’s crazy ideas.

I want to distinguish between London and Paris.

If you distinguish London from Paris….

Unlike Felix, Steve can draw on funds from Joel’s bank account.

The tattoo artist drew a lovely flower on Joel’s left bicep.

Women are drawn to Steve’s bulging muscles.

Natalia Paris often dreams about Steve.

Mr. Bolton’s bank account dwindled from one thousand dollars to less than half that in less than a week.
 It’s easy to see why Mark is so popular.

Mark will be elected to the Congress in 2016.

We elected Steve as our office “gopher”.

The snail emerges from its shell.

My job enables me to travel.

We encouraged him to paint.

Steve wishes to escape from grinding poverty.

Coffee is essential to me, especially in the morning.

Everyone is here except for the teacher.

Except for being handsome, he wasn’t very special.

Juan explained to Steve the difference between salsa and merengue.

Steve is exposed to intense ridicule every day of his life.


We fail to see the humor in these sentences.

Steve fled from their sharp criticisms.

We forbid you to go.

This mishap forces me to plan ahead.

I want to focus on our mutual problem.


I have to give you credit for your good work.

Joel predicts that Test Tutor will grow from a small company to a major multinational within five years.

Steve grew out of his overalls just last year.


Music helps me to think.


Studies indicate that people with gray hair are smarter than the majority.
Steve’s constant worrying over his gray hair indicates to me a serious self-esteem problem.
Steve inherits his gray hair from his mother’s family.

Steve should invest in hair dye.


Lack of exercise leads to obesity.

The pain is localized in my left foot.


You’ve managed to screw this up again, Steve.

Chocolate makes me think of Switzerland.
I’m sorry. I mistook you for someone else.

Penguins are native to the Antarctic.

Steve is a native of Canada.

Steve needs to think of some better sentences.

It is necessary to be creative.


Liberalism, as we know it, originated in 17th century England.


Money permits us to live a comfortable life.

Stephen is prized as a teacher in Bogota.

Stephen is prized for his ability to dance the salsa.

In school, we were prohibited from fighting.

The promise of success drove us to the mountain’s peak.

I promise to tell the truth more often – I swear.
Joel’s first novel Love and the GMAT is published by ETS.

Steve’s first novel will be published in March.


His clients range from multinationals to the smallest businesses.

I wish to refer to the latest work by Foucault….

She is regarded as an expert.

My work requires me to travel.

Steve resembles a young Charles Atlas.

Rough play often results in injuries.

Injuries often result from rough play.

The rivalry between Joel and Enrique Iglesias is legendary.

The rivals Enrique and Joel quarreled often.


Save for that inconvenience, the trip was a success.

They saved me from another boring party.

He seeks to save your soul.

I seek the truth.

You seem to be sleepy today.

I can sleep with whoever I want!

I spoke to my secretary about the report I wanted.

I spoke with my colleague about the upcoming report.

 Steve loves to take advantage of those around him.

She taught Jim to dance.

She taught Jim the lambada.

She told him that he was a terrible dancer.

The rope is tied to the chair.

We transmitted the e-mail to him.

 I use a light to read.

Years ago, he used to walk every day to work.

He is used to walking to work.











Fortunately, he was willing to help us.


Some More idioms

a debate over               a lot                 a responsibility to                    a result of                    a sequence ofagree with                    as an instance of                      as good as/or better than                    as great asas good as…or better than       as much as       attend to (someone)               attribute X to Y/X is attributed to Ybased on                      believe X to be Y                     both X and Y               centers on        concerned withconform to                  created with                 defined as                    depends on whether                depicted asdifferent from/differ from                   distinguishes between X and Y            distinguish from          doubt thateither…or                     enable to          fascinated by             forbid X to do Y       identical with         in contrast toindependent from        indifferent towards      modeled after              (no) more…than/(no) less…than

more than ever            neither…nor                 not only…but also                    not so much…as

prohibits X from doing Y                    potential to                  range from X to Y                   regard as            regardless

responsible forresulting in                  retroactive to               so X as to be Y            so (adjective) that

subscribe to                 such…as           the same to X as to Y            to contrast X with Y           to mistake X for Y

to result in                   to sacrifice X for Y