Learn the 105 most common idioms on TOEIC Certificate


The higher the TOEIC score, the more likely it is to get a job or change jobs. It is essential to learn basic things such as English words and grammar to improve the score, but it is effective to improve vocabulary in order to quickly understand the problem and answer it reliably. Therefore, learning idioms can be said to be an effective TOEIC measure.

This time, I will explain the idioms that often appear in TOEIC. We will also introduce effective study methods and recommended reference books and apps, so please refer to them.

Table of contents
  • Studying idioms is essential for TOEIC preparation
  • Effective study method for TOEIC idiom
  • 105 TOEIC frequent idioms by part
  • 3 recommended books for TOEIC idiom
  • 3 recommended apps for TOEIC idiom
  • Once you understand the TOEIC idiom

Studying idioms is also essential for TOEIC preparation

Learning English words and grammar is the first measure for TOEIC, but studying idioms is indispensable if you aim for a high score. By capturing the idioms that often appear in TOEIC, you can improve your score.

First of all, I will explain what idioms are and why it is necessary to study idioms.

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word that has a special meaning by combining two or more English words.

It is often regarded as the same meaning as an idiom, but it is a little different in the strict sense. Idioms express a specific meaning by combining multiple English words, but idioms are idiomatic expressions that do not make sense just by arranging English words. Therefore, there are many expressions that cannot be understood without learning.

In this article, I will introduce idioms in the sense of "words consisting of multiple words."

Especially frequent in Part 5

TOEIC is also known for having many problems. Some people who have taken the exam may say, "I didn't have enough time to solve it to the end." In order to solve all the problems in a limited time, it is important to consider the time allocation.

In particular, in order to solve the long sentences of parts 6 and 7 to the end, it is better to finish the first half as soon as possible. Therefore, it is necessary to solve the short fill-in-the-blank question given in Part 5 in about 10 to 15 minutes. Since 30 questions are asked, the maximum time that can be spent on each question is 30 seconds. In other words, it is no exaggeration to say that we have almost no time to think.

Idioms are especially frequent in Part 5. Many of the idioms that are used idiomatically don't make sense without knowing them. However, if you turn it over and remember it, you can easily get the correct answer.

Also, the idioms that often appear in TOEIC have a certain tendency, so if you take measures in advance, you can solve them in no time. Part 5 is the part of TOEIC that is easy to score, so perfect score is not a dream. Let's take proper measures and aim to improve the score.

Effective study method for TOEIC idiom measures

Some people may not know what to do when it comes to learning idioms. You might think that you should just memorize it, but it's surprisingly hard to remember. It's no wonder that if you can't remember it easily, you'll want to throw it out on the way.

From here, I will introduce two effective study methods for idioms that can be used as TOEIC measures.

If you use an idiom collection, remember it with an example sentence

If you try to memorize only idioms, it is difficult to relate to the meaning of Japanese, and even if you memorize it, you will forget it immediately. When you actually use English, you don't really know what kind of scene and how to use it.

Therefore, it is recommended to memorize the whole example sentence to memorize the idiom. Since you can also remember the context and situation of the example sentences, it will be easier for you to settle your memory. I am two birds with one stone because I can learn grammar naturally. You will also improve your vocabulary as you will acquire practical English.

The way to remember is to prepare an example sentence and read it aloud. The point here is to read aloud. By pronouncing it not only with your eyes but also with your ears, it will become more memorable. You can also practice speaking. It is effective to read aloud not only idioms but also English words and grammar using example sentences.

When purchasing a commercial idiom collection, be sure to choose one that has example sentences. In particular, we recommend a collection of idioms that are frequently used in TOEIC. If you don't have an example sentence, you can write it yourself.

Make an original vocabulary from the TOEIC test

After studying to some extent in idiom collections, let's learn while actually solving the problem. You may not get a good score at first, but you don't have to worry about it as you get used to it.

There are plenty of idioms in the official TOEIC questions and mock exams, so it is recommended that you extract the idioms you did not understand when you solved them and create your own original vocabulary. Remembering what was actually asked is a very effective learning method.

Also, by focusing on what you did not understand, you can overcome your weaknesses. It is not limited to TOEIC, but it is also important to be prepared to make a mistake once and never again. It's a waste to make mistakes with the same problem over and over, so let's learn efficiently.

In particular, the official question book contains past questions that were actually asked, so you can learn in a more practical way. For TOEIC measures, it is important to study specifically for TOEIC. It is recommended that you solve the past questions once in the official question book before taking the exam, as you can grasp the tendency of the questions.

105 TOEIC Frequent Idioms by Part

TOEIC is divided into 7 parts. 1-4 are the listening section and 5-7 are the reading section. The listening section has 100 questions in about 45 minutes, and the reading section has 100 questions in 75 minutes. Since there are many problems with respect to the time limit, it is necessary to solve it while considering the time allocation.

Since there are differences in the question format and frequently-used words for each part, it is recommended to study by holding down the points. Let's grasp the tendency and aim to improve the score. From here, I will introduce the idioms that frequently appear for each TOEIC part.

[Part 1] 15 TOEIC Frequent Idioms

Part 1 will have 6 photographic depiction questions.

One photo is prepared for each question, and explanations will be given in English for each, so please choose the one that applies to you from the four options. Before the problem, there is a "Directions" time to explain the problem, so let's look at the pictures during that time and predict the content of the explanation to some extent.

All the English sentences played here are short, so the difficulty level is low even in the listening section. It is not difficult to aim for a perfect score if you take proper measures.

The pictures given are two patterns, a landscape painting and a person. In particular, it's a good idea to focus on idioms that express a person's condition or movement.

As with the entire listening section, be careful not to miss it, as the audio will only play once.

at an angle of At an angle of
be covered with Covered with
be packed with Full of
be piled up Stack, stack
glance at A glance
go around Go around
hold up Lift, sustain
lean on/against Lean on
line up Line up (in a row), line up
put on To wear
situate on Located in
stare at Stare at
spread out Spread all over
try on Try on
walk on keep walking

[Part 2] 15 TOEIC Frequent Idioms

Part 2 has 25 applied questions.

It is a question of listening to a short English voice and choosing the answer to it from the following three voices. There are no pictures or pictures on the question paper, and only audio can be relied on.

All of the English sentences given are short sentences, but be careful because there is a catching problem. Some of the options are confusing, which can make the conversation flow unnatural.

You can spend up to 10 minutes on Part 2. In other words, it only takes about 20 seconds per question, so here you need to answer correctly in an instant. It's a good idea to get used to it with past questions.

ask a favor Ask, ask for errands
be obliged to It is unavoidable
be supposed to Is supposed to
belong to Belongs to, belongs to
due to ~as the reason for
in charge of In charge of
It looks like ~ Seems to be
just in case Just in case
May I ~? Is it okay?
on duty On duty, during working hours
participate in Attend
Please do. please
volunteer to Willing to offer
What caused ~? What is the cause of?
What's the matter with ~? What happened to
Why don't you ~? How about

[Part 3] 15 TOEIC Frequent Idioms

Part 3 has 39 conversation questions. Listen to the conversations of two or three people and answer the related questions. There are 3 questions per conversation. Conversational situations are not limited to business scenes, but also casual ones such as restaurants and supermarkets.

This is a question sheet with questions and choices, so it's a good idea to read it as much as possible before playing the audio. The last few questions have figures and illustrations on the question paper, and there is also the question of associating them with the sounds you hear.

It's a long sentence compared to parts 1 and 2, so it's more difficult. Let's concentrate on listening.

Around the clock 24 hours a day
as soon as possible as soon as possible
be about to ~Trying to
be caught up in Get caught up in
be sure to Be sure to
comply with Follow, respond to
for a while For a while
in advance In advance, in advance
let's say Assuming
move to / into Move to
take a break Take a rest
There's no charge It doesn't cost
What if If so, tentatively
How may I help you ~? What kind of business do you have?
Would you like ~? How is it?

[Part 4] 15 TOEIC Frequent Idioms

Part 4 will have 30 explanatory text questions.

Listen to a mini-talk by one person and answer questions, like announcements and narration. There are 3 questions per talk. As with Part 3, there are questions and options on the question sheet. In addition to the content of the talk, there are also questions that include the figures and tables on the question sheet.

It features less but more complicated expressions than Part 3, such as airport announcements and TV weather forecasts.

A as well as B A and B, A and B
at any time anytime
be backed up There is a traffic jam
behind schedule Schedule is late
drive down Suppress (price etc.), reduce
due for Of the deadline of
fill out Fill in
make an appointment Make a reservation
make sure To confirm
on a first-come On a first-come, first-served basis
refrain from Refrain from
step down To Resign
take place Will be done
turn off power off
weather forecast weather forecast

[Part 5] 15 TOEIC Frequent Idioms

Part 5 and beyond are the reading sections.

First of all, in Part 5, 30 short-sentence fill-in-the-blank questions will be asked.

There is a space in a short English sentence, and it is a problem to select the word that applies to it from the choices. Not only paying attention to the grammar and part of speech, but also keeping track of the idioms that often appear will help improve your score.

It is important to understand and answer the entire sentence, not just before and after the blank. If you don't understand the problem, look for hints in the text. However, as mentioned above, it only takes up to 30 seconds for each question, so be aware that you can solve it quickly.

adhere to Stick and support
attempt to Try to
be determined to I am determined to do
be held liable for Be held responsible for
be required to You are required to do, you have a duty
compensate for Compensate for
dedicate oneself to Dedicate
even though Despite
excel in Excellent in
in the long run In the long run
make a contribution to Contribute to
play a role Play a role
up to ~Until
vote against Vote against
without notice Without notice, without permission

[Part 6] 15 TOEIC Frequent Idioms

In Part 6, 16 long-sentence fill-in-the-blank questions will be asked. There are four long sentences, each with four spaces, so it is a problem to select the words and sentences that apply to them from the options.

It has the same format as Part 5, but not only can it be solved by reading before and after the blank, but there are many things that cannot be answered without reading the surrounding sentences and grasping the context.

In order to solve the long sentence problem of Part 7, it is necessary to solve it in about 10 minutes. It is important to get used to it in order to speed up the answer.

approve of Admit, agree
as per According to
call for Request
conduct a survey Do a survey
dispose of Process
do not hesitate to Please feel free to
far from far from Far from
hand over Hand over, hand over
in case that If ~
in response to In response to
make a progress Progress
qualify for Qualify for
run out of Run out of
until further notice Until there is a notification later
work on Effective for

[Part 7] 15 TOEIC Frequent Idioms

Part 7 will have 54 long reading comprehension questions.

There are various types of questions, such as choosing one sentence that fits the blank space in the sentence from the four options, and choosing the intention of the writer. There are about 5 questions for each sentence. In some cases, multiple sentences are prepared for one question.

We handle a wide variety of texts, including those used in business situations such as emails, letters, and invoices, and everyday ones such as advertisements, calendars, and news articles. Part 7 occupies more than half of the reading section, so if you're looking to improve your score, the point is how much you can score here.

above all Above all
be assigned to Appointed to
be closest in meaning to Is the closest in meaning
be concerned about Worried about
be eager to do Aspire to
be expected to Expected to
be promoted To be promoted
be valid for ~ Valid for days
carry out Execute
in person Directly
job interview Job interview
keep in touch Get in touch
make up for Make up for
out of stock out of stock
to some extent To some extent

3 Recommended Books for TOEIC Idiom Measures

Here are some recommended reference books for TOEIC idiom measures. There are many reference books for TOEIC measures in stores and online, but if you are wondering which one to use, please refer to this.

TOEIC TEST English Idioms Speed Master

This is a reference book that summarizes 1400 words and phrases that often appear in TOEIC.

Verb phrases and idioms are posted in four levels for each target score, ranging from beginners with around 400 points to advanced players aiming for 900 points or higher. It is attractive that there are abundant expressions that can be used not only for TOEIC measures but also in actual business situations.

All example sentences have audio and are included on two CDs. Listening measures are perfect.

Book title TOEIC TEST English Idioms Speed Master
Recommended level Beginner-Intermediate-Advanced
author Hisashi Narushige, Vicki Glass
the publisher Jay Research Publishing
Price (tax included) 1,540 yen

A single limited express money compound word

This is a collection of idioms by Mr. TEX Kato, a TOEIC instructor who got a perfect score 100 times in TOEIC. From a huge amount of past questions, idioms and conversational expressions that frequently appear in TOEIC are summarized. Of course, all phrases have audio.

It is used by many people not only because of its rich content, but also because of its easy-to-read layout and good cost performance. If you want to take measures against idioms, this one book is all you need.

It is compatible with free apps for smartphones, so you can easily study on the move or on the go.

Book title A single limited express money compound word
Recommended level Beginner-Intermediate-Advanced
author TEX Kato
the publisher Asahi Shimbun Publishing
Price (tax included) 869 yen

TOEIC L & R TEST Idiom Speedmaster that always comes out ☆

This is a reference book that contains 1000 frequently used TOEIC words. Two patterns of short sentences and dialogs are prepared for the example sentences, and it is attractive that they are easy to remember. Not only the meaning of each of the idioms, but also the usage, synonyms, and the points to be asked in the TOEIC are simply summarized.

It is designed to be mastered in 20 days, so it is recommended for those who are approaching the exam. You can also download audio files, which will be useful for listening learning.

Book title TOEIC L & R TEST Idiom Speedmaster that always comes out ☆
Recommended level Beginner-Intermediate-Advanced
author Hisashi Narushige
the publisher J Research Publishing
Price (tax included) 1,078 yen

3 Recommended Apps for TOEIC Idiom Measures

Some may find it better to study with the app than to buy a book. For such people, here are three recommended apps for TOEIC idiom measures. You can try it for free, so please use what you are interested in.

TOEIC Elementary English Idioms 500

It is an application that you can learn beginner-level English idioms that frequently appear in TOEIC. The number of idioms handled is 500, and by mastering this, you will not only be able to improve your TOEIC score, but you will also be able to communicate smoothly using English. First of all, it is recommended for those who want to acquire the basics.

This app is exclusively for Toshin Business School students (students and working adults), so it cannot be used without an ID and password. Please check the Toshin Business School website for details.

The ultimate English word! TOEIC® Essential English Words / Idioms

The ultimate English word series app that provides effective English learning with an algorithm based on Ebbinghaus's forgetting curve theory. We have adopted a large number of English words and idioms that have been asked in the past, and you will acquire the words and idioms necessary for improving your score.

It is recommended for people who want to have fun while learning because you can learn according to the learning situation of English words such as quiz format and descriptive formula. You can also learn while playing audio.

It's also nice to be able to use all the apps for free. The paid version can hide ads.

Study Supplement ENGLISH TOEIC® L & R Test Preparation

It is an application specialized in TOEIC learning of study supplement, an online learning service provided by Recruit. In addition to frequently-used words, idioms, and listening questions, the original exercises by the staff who create the official question book are also included. In the original video of about 5 minutes, you will learn the tips of thinking and solving without memorizing.

It is also attractive that there are many terminals that can be used such as smartphones, tablets, and personal computers. It is recommended for busy people as it allows you to study anywhere and anytime.

Please note that the download is free, but there is an in-app purchase.