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Part 271 – IDIOMS/PHRASES Previous Year Questions

Q1. The poet drew on his fancy, not his knowledge of Nature, when he wrote his poem on birds.
(a) used his understanding
(b) used his knowledge
(c) used his imagination
(d) used his skill
Ans: (c) drew on his fancy: used his imagination Painters draw on their fancy in their sketches and paintings. The best option is used his imagination.

Q2. My neighbour had to pay through his nose for a brand new car.
(a) pay huge loans
(b) pay a reasonable price
(c) pay an extremely high price
(d) make a quick buck
Ans: (c) play through his nose: to pay too much money for something We paid through the nose for that vacation. The best option is pay an extremely high price

Q3. Very ambitious people do not like to rest on their laurels.
(a) to be unhappy
(b) to be motivated
(c) to be impatient
(d) to be complacent
Ans: (d) rest on their laurels: to feel so satisfied with what you have already achieved that you do not try to do any more. (a) complacent: too satisfied with yourself or with a situation, so that you may not feel that any change is necessary Despite our success, this is not the time to rest on our laurels. The best option is to be complacent.

Q4. If he phones again, I am going to give him a piece of my mind.
(a) to be nice to him
(b) to take revenge on him
(c) to reprimand him
(d) to support him
Ans: (c) to give him a piece of my mind: to tell somebody that you disapprove of his behaviour or angry with him I’ve had enough of Raju. I’m going to give him a piece of my mind. The best option is to reprimand him.

Q5. The party high command wanted to stave off an open battle.
(a) postpone
(b) wait and see
(c) allow it to take its own course
(d) prevent
Ans: (a) to stave off: to prevent something bad from affecting you for a period of time; to delay something He could stave off an open argument. The best option is postpone.

Q6. Ramesh takes after his father.
(a) follows (b) imitates
(c) obeys (d) resembles
Ans: (d) takes after: to look or behave like an older member of your family, especially your mother or father John takes after his grand father. The best option is resembles.

Q7. They made no bones about acknowledging their debt to his genius.
(a) did not have any hesitation in
(b) did not have any faith in
(c) demanded compensation for
(d) had problems in
Ans: (a) made no bones about: to be honest and open about something; not to hesitate to do something She made no bones about in accepting her defeat at the Olympics. The best option is did not have any hesitation in.

Q8. It is evident from the minister’s statement that heads will roll in the Secretariat.
(a) transfers will take place
(b) heads will be cut off
(c) people will die
(d) dismissals will occur
Ans: (d) heads will roll: will be punished because of something that has happened When the company’s yearend results are known, heads will roll. The best option is dismissals will occur.

Q9. During the last moments of his life, the criminal made a clean breast of everything he had done.
(a) showed his breast
(b) fought like a hero
(c) confessed without reserve
(d) faced bravely
Ans: (c) made a clean breast of: to tell the truth about something so that you may no longer feel guilty You’ll feel better if you make a clean breast of the incident. The best option is confessed without reserve.

Q10. She tries very hard to keep up with her rich neighbours.
(a) to imitate
(b) to keep in touch
(c) to avoid
(d) to be on par
Ans:
(b) to keep up: to continue to be in contact with somebody He couldn’t keep up with his friends who went into business. The best option is to keep in touch.

Q11. He went on sowing wild oats; he reaped suffering in his later life.
(a) inviting troubles as a boy
(b) warning others as a youngman
(c) irresponsible pleasure seeking in young age
(d) sowing grains called oats when young
Ans: (c) souring wild oats: (of young men) to go through a period of wild behaviour while young, especially having a lot of romantic or sexual relationships He sowed his wild oats in early life, but has become sober now. The best option is irresponsible pleasure seeking in young age.

Q12. I don’t know why she has become standoffish recently.
(a) angry
(b) hilarious
(c) indifferent
(d) unmanageable
Ans: (c) standoffish: not friendly towards other people; aloof He can be quite standoffish and rude, even to his friends. The best option is indifferent.

Q13. Why don’t you put an end to blowing your own trumpet ?
(a) playing your own trumpet to produce music
(b) making too much noise
(c) praising your own abilities and achievements
(d) None of these
Ans: (c) blowing your own trumpet: to praise your own abilities and achievements; boast Anyone will tell you she’s one of the best journalists we have got, although she never blows her own trumpet. The best option is prasising your own abilities and achievements.

Q14. I knew he had an axe to grind and turned down his offer of help.
(a) a blunt axe
(b) a sharp tongue
(c) a private interest to serve
(d) a tendency to fight
Ans: (c) an axe to grind: to have private reasons for being involved in something or for arguing for a particular cause He claimed to be disinterested, but I knew he had an axe to grind. The best option is a private interest to serve.

Q15. The saint’s life was an open book.
(a) an uncomplicated one
(b) one that held no secrets
(c) an example to all
(d) an interesting biography
Ans: (b) an open book: can easily understand and know everything about somebody Your health secrets will be an open book to anyone who can do an online search. The best option is one that held no secrets.

Q16. Reading between the lines I realised that my friend wanted to keep something from me.
(a) looking for meanings that are not actually expressed
(b) reading carelessly
(c) reading with anxiety
(d) glancing over the lines
Ans: (a) reading between the lines: looking for or discovering a meaning Reading between the lines of the letter, she realised that her friend was in great trouble. The best option is looking for meanings that are not actually expressed.

Q17. Sometimes, it happens that we have to give the devil his due.
(a) to give credit to even a notorious person
(b) to give encouragement even to the enemy
(c) to invite the devil
(d) to stand in the way of the devil
Ans: (b) to give the devil his due: said when you admit that someone you don’t like or admire does have some good qualities I don’t like her views, but still I give the devil her due; she has always something important to say. The best option is to give encouragement even to the enemy.

Q18. The king had been made to eat humble pie.
(a) to eat slowly
(b) to have an excellent dish
(c) to eat a good pie
(d) to apologise
Ans: (d) to eat humble pie: to say and show that you are sorry for a mistake that you made The producers of the advertisement had to eat humble pie for misrepresenting the facts. The best option is to apologise.

Q19. He was given Hobson’s choice by the employer.
(a) excellent choice
(b) no real choice at all
(c) choice to live or die
(d) first choice
Ans: (b) Hobson’s choice: a situation in which somebody has no choice because if he does not accept what is offered, he will get nothing We didn’t really want that particular hotel, but it was a case of Hobson’s choice. The best option is no real choice at all.

Q20. He has a very nice manner, but you would better take what he says with a grain of salt.
(a) to listen to something with considerable doubt
(b) to talk sensibly
(c) to criticise
(d) to complement
Ans:
(a) take with a grain of salt: to hear/ listen/believe with some doubt You must take anything she says with a grain of salt. She doesn’t always speak the truth. The best option is to listen to something with considerable doubt.

Q21. He didn’t tell me directly, but reading between the lines. I think he is not happy with them.
(a) reading slowly and haltingly
(b) understanding the sense rather than the actual words
(c) understanding the meaning of words and not the sense
(d) reading superficially
Ans: (b) reading between the lines: looking for or discovering a meaning; something that is not openly stated Reading between the lines of the letter, she realised that her friend was in great trouble. The best option is understanding the sense rather than the actual words.

Q22. Gopi works by fits and starts.
(a) consistently
(b) irregularly
(c) in high spirits
(d) enthusiastically
Ans: (b) by fits and starts: impulsively and irregularly A sincere student works regularly, not by fits and starts The best option is irregularly.

Q23. I cannot put up with your misconduct any longer.
(a) excuse (b) refuse
(c) accept (d) tolerate
Ans: (d) put up with: to accept somebody/ something that is annoying, unpleasant, etc. without complaining I cannot put up with your constant complaining any longer. The best option is tolerate

Q24. I did not mind what he was saying, he was only talking through his hat.
(a) talking nonsense
(b) talking ignorantly
(c) talking irresponsibly
(d) talking insultingly
Ans: (a) talking through his hat: to say silly things while you are talking about a subject you do not understand He was talking through his hat when he described the shipwreck. The best option is talking nonsense.

Q25. He is so furious that he would go through fire and water to revenge himself on his foe.
(a) approach everybody for help
(b) avail himself of any opportunity
(c) use any conceivable method
(d) undergo any risk
Ans: (d) go through fire and water: face any difficulty They went through fire and water to ensure the child’s safety. The best option is undergo any risk.

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