Most Important Level 1

"to be torn" / "to be torn between something and something"

Meaning: to have a hard time choosing or deciding between two options or possibilities

Similar Expressions
  • I am torn between starting my own company and working at a corporation.
  • I can't decide whether to start my own company or work at a corporation.
  • Half of me wants to start my own company, but the other half of me wants to work for a corporation.
When do we use it?

We use this strong expression to show that a person is having a very hard time deciding or choosing between two things.

How do we use it?

We use this sentence pattern.

Subject + be verb + torn between + Option A and Option B
  • I am torn between getting married and staying single.
  • She is torn between moving to a different city for her dream job and staying near her family.
  • They are torn between staying in their current house and moving to a bigger one.
We also often use this expression as a short response to show that we have not decided and that we do not know which option to choose.

A) Will you go to Thailand or Japan for your vacation?
B) I don't know. They are both good choices. I am torn.

A) Should we invest in an energy company or a pharmaceutical company?
B) I don't know. I am torn.

Example English Conversation

A) I am torn between following my dreams and getting a stable job.
B) You are young and single, so you should follow your dreams. You can always get a stable job later.

It is important that you know English expressions and idioms if you want to have fluent English conversations with native English speakers or other advanced English speakers. Do not try to learn many expressions and idioms at one time. Instead, study a few of these free English lessons each week and learn English expressions and words well. This will help your English vocabulary improve steadily, and you will start speaking English like a native speaker.