Choke

This is a common word native speakers use.  It is often used in the context of playing a sport.  If someone “chokes” it means that they got too nervous and underperformed.  Imagine some athlete who everyone expects will win and olympic gold medal.  All the newspapers write about him or her.  Then, when the games start, the athlete get’s really nervous and performs poorly, much worse than in practice.  This means that the person “choked“.  Another context we can use it in is test taking.  If you study hard for a test but get a bad score because you were nervous, you “choked“.

Here are 2 example sentences:

He didn’t get into a good university because he totally choked on his final exams.

She was two points from winning the match but ended up losing.   She choked big time.

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