You are on page 1of 8

IDIOMS We cannot give you all of the idiomatic expressions in English, but here are some that consistently

appear on GMAT tests. The ones marked with the asterix (*) often appear on the GMAT - please take note of them, and memorize them. They are very important. The correct idiomatic expression is given on the LEFT, while a sentence demonstrating how the expression is used can be found on the RIGHT. ABCDEFGHILMNOPRSTUW A able + infinitive Tom is able to play the guitar with his toes. access to Steve never has access to his dad's bank account. act as Tom acts as a scout for GQ here in South America. agree on + noun We agreed on the plan. agree on + gerund We agreed on going to town. agree to We agreed to go away. aid + person/thing The magnifying glass aided his search. allows for Your schedule does not allow for much time. appeal to He wants to appeal to my good sense. *as....as She is as tired as I am. ask + infinitive He asked to go home. ask + person + He asked me to go home. infinitive *associate with We never associate with Steve - he is far too tacky! His tackiness can be attributed to too many comic books *attribute to as a child. B *base on I think that the movie Star Wars is based on a true story. begin + infinitive It soon began to rain. There was a boom in the sale of yellow polka-dot bikinis boom in as soon as Natalia Paris tried one on. built by The Avro Arrow was built by proud Canadians. C care about Who cares about that? care for I don't care for your tone. centers on + The story centers on the struggle for meaning in a person/thing chaotic universe. choose + infinitive I do it because I choose to do it.

I have to give you credit for working so hard. If you continue to do that we will not be friends. Columbus is credited with discovering the Americas. I count on you for the correct answers. I consider you a friend... you find. If you contrast Bill with Bob. (compare with stresses differences). to be drawn to + Women are drawn to Steve's bulging muscles. The new device will convert matter to energy. Caliban is compared to a beast in Shakespeare's The Tempest.. depend on Steve depends on Joel for financial support. *different from Canadians are very different from Americans. decide on + We decided on the all-meat pizza. Joel contends that you are lying.. Your story is not consistent with Joel's story. difficult + infinitive Steve finds it difficult to dance to Latin music. and Y *distinguish X from Y If you distinguish London from Paris. . D are in danger of + The robber was in danger of being captured. (compare to stresses similarities). Compared with you. gerund decide + infinitive We decided to leave the party early. I cannot sing well at all. thing/person delighted by Steve was delighted by the new findings. The tattoo artist drew a lovely flower on Joel's left draw + thing bicep.. disclose to + Joel decided to disclose to the world the truth about person/organization Steve's crazy ideas.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 The atom is composed of various parts.. Unlike Felix. Steve can draw on funds from Joel's bank draw on (take out) account. *distinguish between X I want to distinguish between London and Paris. thing/person *dream of/about Natalia Paris often dreams about Steve.

fail to flee from *forbid to force + thing/person + This mishap forces me to plan ahead. especially in the morning. Juan explained to Steve the difference between salsa and merengue. infinitive focus on + I want to focus on our mutual problem. thing/person G get credit for/give I have to give you credit for your good work. We forbid you to go. grow out of Steve grew out of his overalls just last year. The snail emerges from its shell. credit for Joel predicts that PrepForTests will grow from a small grow from company to a major multinational within five years. Steve fled from their sharp criticisms. Steve is exposed to intense ridicule every day of his life. Everyone is here except for the teacher. Except for being handsome. E It's easy to see why Mark is so popular. We elected Steve as our office "gopher". Mark will be elected to the Congress in 2016. We encouraged him to paint.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 Mr. Bolton's bank account dwindled from one thousand dollars to less than half that in less than a week. H help + thing/person + Music helps me to think. F We fail to see the humor in these sentences. he wasn't very special. . Steve wishes to escape from grinding poverty. Coffee is essential to me. My job enables me to travel. infinitive I Studies indicate that people with gray hair are smarter indicate that than the majority.

In the likelihood that he comes to town.. It is necessary to be creative. *not just …. I mistook you for someone else. Steve should invest in hair dye. *native to *a native of need to to be + necessary + infinitive *not only.. M You've managed to screw this up again. but also. we were prohibited from fighting. I promise to tell the truth more often . She's not just kind.. originated in 17th century England.but also. but also intelligent.. Derek is not only an old age pensioner but also a DJ. Stephen is prized as a teacher in Bogota. Steve needs to think of some better sentences. The promise of success drove us to the mountain's peak. Stephen is prized for his ability to dance the salsa.. the word "also" is optional in all of these: it would be perfectly logical to say "She's not only kind. Steve's first novel will be published in March. originate in *permit + thing/person + infinitive prized as prized for *prohibit from + gerund promise of + thing promise to published by published in O Liberalism. but intelligent. but also... L Lack of exercise leads to obesity. Steve is a native of Canada.I swear. P Money permits us to live a comfortable life.. In school. Steve.indicate to + person inherit from invest in leads to likelihood that localized in manage to *make + thing/person Chocolate makes me think of Switzerland. The pain is localized in my left foot.. Sabih's first novel 'Love and the GMAT' is published by Penguin. Steve inherits his gray hair from his mother's family. as we know it..but also not simply.. N Penguins are native to the Antarctic. R . + verb (simple form) *mistake + I'm sorry. not merely. thing/person + for Steve's constant worrying over his gray hair indicates to me a serious self-esteem problem..

*range from X to Y refer to *regard as require + thing/person + infinitive required of + thing/person 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 His clients range from multinationals to the smallest businesses. She taught Jim to dance. She taught Jim the lambada. I spoke with my colleague about the upcoming report. Injuries often result from rough play. She is regarded as an expert.. He seeks to save your soul. The rivalry between Joel and Enrique Iglesias is legendary. the trip was a success. He is used to walking to work. She told him that he was a terrible dancer. The GMAT is required of most students applying for admission to an MBA program. My work requires me to travel. W . They saved me from another boring party. I can sleep with whoever I want! I spoke to my secretary about the report I wanted. T Steve loves to take advantage of those around him.. The rivals Enrique and Joel quarreled often. he used to walk every day to work. U I use a light to read. I wish to refer to the latest work by Foucault. S Save for that inconvenience. Rough play often results in injuries. We transmitted the e-mail to him.. Steve resembles a young Charles Atlas. You seem to be sleepy today. The rope is tied to the chair. Years ago. I seek the truth.

Whether is word used to introduce alternative possibilities. I consider you __________ one of my best friends.as Problems with these words always come up on the test. regard. before. if the only difference between 2 answer choices is whether and whether or not. and the GMAT will often test whether you know how to use it.. Usually one can express something in a more active tense than anything with being. The bare minimum that you should do is make sure that you are familiar with all those marked with an asterix (*). and or. If you see consider. they will probably be testing you on that particular idiomatic Expression problem. That does not apply to the GMAT. Whether Normally in the GMAT one has the choice of either whether or if . . 1.. note them down on a scrap of paper) and then we'll see how you did on the next page. Be careful. while both regard and think of need the as. or think of in a problem.to be + willing + infinitive will try to Fortunately. think of. the GMAT question setters have a particular dislike of this form of the verb to be. 2.as.almost always. he was willing to help us. you should choose whether. the GMAT would rather employ because at the beginning of a sentence than use due to. Because A long time ago. You should also make sure you know the idioms used in comparisons. He regards me __________ a mortal enemy. Consider. regard. Cindy will try to improve next year. In fact.. Idiom Quiz Fill in the blanks of the following 15 questions (or rather. Remember. choose whether: whether or not is seen as somewhat redundant. Only use being after words such as after. TIPS FOR IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS Being In general. As well. and very simply. when it is absolutely necessary to do so.. you might have been taught never to begin a sentence with because. avoid the construction being. there is no as after consider. Note: some of these sentences do not need anything in the blank space. since if is over-used in situatiuons calling for whether.

3. You are prohibited from taking a break! 7. 5. 5. I consider you one of my best friends. it is fine as it is. You are prohibited __________ taking a break! 7. We can compare his exuberant entrance __________ a tornado sweeping everything in its path. 4. He regards me as a mortal enemy. Llamas are native __________ South America. We mistook you __________ a penguin in those clothes. I think of Newt Gingrich as my good pal. Our problems range __________ miscommunication __________ utter incompetence. Answers are on the next page. 4. I think of Newt Gingrich __________ my good pal. I forbid you __________ stop taking this test! 6. I can always distinguish between Joel __________ Steve. 8. (Nothing goes in the sentence. I forbid you to stop taking this test! 6. Steve's life centers on the never-ending struggle to get up early every morning. 11. We can compare his exuberant entrance to a tornado sweeping everything in its path. 3. Rainy days make me __________ think of London. 12. it is difficult to distinguish Steve __________ Joel. 14. In the dark.) 2. 10. . 9. 8. 15. Answers The correct answer to each question is underlined. I am not much of an athlete compared __________ Wayne Gretzky. 1. Steve's life centers __________ the never-ending struggle to get up early every morning. 13. The Sumerians are credited __________ inventing the wheel. Do not see them until you have completed the Quiz. Llamas are native to South America.

9. it is fine as it is. Our problems range from miscommunication to utter incompetence. 12. 10. 14. I can always distinguish between Joel and Steve. it is difficult to distinguish Steve from Joel. . (Nothing goes in the sentence.) 13. We mistook you for a penguin in those clothes. The Sumerians are credited with inventing the wheel. 15. In the dark. I am not much of an athlete compared with Wayne Gretzky. 11. Rainy days make me think of London.