can't see the forest for the trees
This page is about the idiom can't see the forest for the trees
If you can't see the forest for the trees, you can't see the whole situation clearly because you're looking too closely at small details, or because you're too closely involved.
- I don't think we can see the forest for the trees at this stage, so let's get an outsider to take a look at the project and give us a progress report.
- Mark is so focused on product details that he can't see the forest for the trees when it comes to the overall needs of the company.
The British and Australian equivalent is "can't see the wood for the trees".
This idiom is typically used in American English but may be used in other varieties of English too.
Contributor: Matt Errey