Common Idioms found in Grammar/Writing Skills Sections of Standardized Tests

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a common phrase, usually a pair or group of words that includes a preposition such as “appeal to”.

Below is a list I’ve compiled over the years doing test prep tutoring:


AboutWorry aboutComplain about

Wonder about

Curious about

Think about

Bring about

To be particular about



Protect against

Defend against



Succeed at

Adept at



Confused by

Followed by

Predate by

Puzzled by

Perplexed by

Impressed by

Amazed by

Awed by

Surprised by

Stunned by

Shocked by

Outraged by

Encouraged by

Accompanied by


ForNamed forRecognized for

Known for

Famous for

Celebrated for

Have a tolerance for

Strive for

Compensate for

Responsible for

Watch for

Look out for

Wait for

Last for

Endure for

Prized for

Necessary for

Criticize for

Blame for

Advocate for



Protect from

Defend from

Far from

Different from

Refrain from

Apparent from

Prevent x from doing y

Opposite from



Enter into

Have insight into



Interested in

Succeed in

Have confidence in

Engage in

Take pride in

In x as in y


OnBased onDraw on

Insist on

Focus on

Rely on

Reflect on

Dwell on



Have power over

Have control over

Mull over



Have an appreciation of

Suspicious of

A mastery of

A command of

Capable of

Incapable of

In recognition of

Devoid of

A proponent of

A source of

An offer of

An understanding of

A knowledge of

Approve of

Disapprove of

In awe of

Take advantage of

Composed of

Comprised of

Consist of

Convinced of

Characteristic of

Typical of

In awe of

In the hopes of

A variety of

A plethora of

An abundance of

To be a native of

On the verge of

Combination of x and y


ToRecommend toListen to

Try to – not try and

Prefer something
to something else

Devoted to

In contrast to

In opposition to

A threat to

Central to

Unique to

Similar to

Parallel to

As an alternative to

Inured to

Be native to

Put questions to

In addition to

As opposed to



Biased toward

A tendency toward



Familiar with

Unfamiliar with

Identify with

Correlate with

Sympathize with

Consistent with

Inconsistent with

Preoccupied with

Cope with/Coping with