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Part 278 – IDIOMS/PHRASES Previous Year Questions

Q1. The teacher’s announcement to conduct a snap test came as a bolt from the blue to many students.
(a) imaginary(b) unexpected
(c) forbidden(d) heavenly
Ans: (b) a bolt from the blue: a complete surprise She seemed to be very involved in her job, so her resignation came as a bolt from the blue. The best option is unexpected.

Q2. He and his friend are sailing in the same boat.
(a) sailing together in the same boat
(b) sharing the financial and social condition
(c) being in the same difficult situation
(d) getting rid of the difficult situation
Ans: (c) sailing in the same boat: to be in the same difficult situation Everyone’s got too much work; we’re all sailing in the same boat. The best option is being in the same difficult situation.

Q3. To be successful in today’s world, we require the gift of the gab.
(a) ability to speak well
(b) good interpersonal skills
(c) divine help and guidance
(d) a fierce competitive spirit
Ans: (a) gift of the gab: the ability to speak easily and to persuade other people with your words My brother really has the gift of gab. He can convince anyone of anything. The best option is ability to speak well.

Q4. Winter was so bad that the nomadic tribesmen found it difficult to keep the wolf from the door.
(a) hunt wild animals
(b) escape starvation
(c) get woollen clothes
(d) walk on ice
Ans: (b) to keep the wolf from the door: to have enough money to avoid going hungry; to stop somebody feeling hungry I don’t make a lot of money; it is just enough to keep the wolf from the door. The best option is escape starvation.

Q5. There is no soft option to the crisis now.
(a) popular opinion
(b) popular solution
(c) easy and agreeable option
(d) difficult choice
(c) soft option: a choice which is thought to be easier because it involves less effort, difficulty, etc. The instructor took the soft option and gave the boy a passing grade. The best option is easy and agreeable option.

Q6. a little gush of gratitude
(a) gradual recovery
(b) friendly feeling
(c) excessive labour
(d) excessive enthusiasm
Ans: (b) a little gush of gratitude: a feeling of thankfulness I felt a little gush of gratitude when I met her at the airport. The best option is friendly feeling.

Q7. to lose ground
(a) to become less powerful
(b) to become less popular
(c) to lose foundation
(d) to be without a leader
Ans: (b) to lose ground: to lose an advantage for yoursel; to become less popular Good restaurants are losing ground to less expensive, more informal places that have opened all around the city. The best option is to become less popular

Q8. to fall back on
(a) to oppose something important
(b) to suffer an injury on the back in an accident
(c) to fail to do something important in time
(d) to seek support out of necessity
Ans: (d) to fall back on: to go to somebody for support ; to have something to use when you are in difficulty I fall back on old friends in time of need. The best option is to seek support out of necessity.

Q9. to make one’s blood boil
(a) to make somebody furious
(b) to develop fever
(c) to get excited
(d) to make someone nervous
(a) to make one’s blood boil: to make somebody extremely angry Whenever my son criticizes his father, it makes my blood boil. The best option is to make somebody furious.

Q10. to speak one’s mind.
(a) to be frank and honest
(b) to think aloud
(c) to talk about one’s ideas
(d) to express one’s thoughts
Ans: (d) to speak one’s mind: to say exactly what one thinks, in a very direct way One should speak out one’s mind rather than agree with everything that is said. The best option is to express one’s thoughts.

Q11. to make a mountain of a molehill
(a) to make advantage of a small thing
(b) to give great importance to little things
(c) to get into trouble
(d) to see a thing with prejudiced mind
Ans: (b) to make a mountain of a molehill: to make an unimportant matter seem important You are making a mountain of a molehill. You wrote one bad essay; it doesn’t mean you’re going to fail. The best option is to give importance to little things.

Q12. hand in glove
(a) in close relationship
(b) noncooperative
(c) critical
(d) on bad terms
Ans: (a) hand in glove: working closely with somebody, especially in a secret and/or illegal way The teacher and the Principal work hand in glove. The best option is in close relationship.

Q13. to add fuel to the fire
(a) to make matters bright
(b) to cause additional anger
(c) to bring matters to a conclusion
(d) to start a revolt
Ans: (b) to add fuel to the fire: a thing that is said or done that makes something, especially an argument, continue or get worse Shouting at a crying child just adds fuel to the fire. The best option is to cause additional anger.

Q14. wear and tear
(a) a brand name
(b) damage
(c) lot of sorrow
(d) a warning
(b) wear and tear: the damage to objects, furniture, property, etc. that is the result of normal use This sofa shows a lot ofwear and tear, we should replace it. The best option is damage.

Q15. He is always praised for his gift of the gab.
(a) being lucky
(b) getting something free
(c) talent for speaking
(d) great skill
Ans: (c) gift of the gab: the ability to speak easily My brother really has the gift of gab. He can convince anyone of anything. The best option is talent for speaking.

Q16. The teacher’s extra hours of coaching went a long way in improving the student’s performance.
(a) took great effort
(b) spent a lot of time
(c) extended widely
(d) helped considerably
Ans: (d) went a long way: to last a long time; covers a large area Your plan went a long way in helping us with our problem. The best option is helped considerably.

Q17. The administration found it difficult to cope with the striking employees.
(a) move (b) compromise
(c) handle (d) subdue
Ans: (c) cope with: to deal successfully with something difficult; manage I don’t think I can cope with any more trouble. The best option is handle

Q18. The criminal was pardoned at the eleventh hour just as/he was about to be hanged.
(a) at eleven o’ clock
(b) suddenly
(c) at the very last moment
(d) at midnight
Ans: (c) at the eleventh hour: at the last possible moment; just in time She always revises for her exams at the eleventh hour. The best option is at the very last moment.

Q19. He spoke well though it was his maiden speech.
(a) long speech
(b) brief speech
(c) first speech
(d) emotional speech
(c) maiden speech: first speech Margret Thatcher’s maiden speech was one of the most successful ones. The best option is first speech.

Q20. Do not run down your friends in public.
(a) fight with
(b) follow
(c) make a mention of
(d) criticise
Ans: (d) run down: to criticize somebody/ something in an unkind way Please stop running me down all the time. The best option is criticise.

Q21. Most parents find it difficult to make both ends meet because of inflation.
(a) to lead a lavish life
(b) to live within one’s income
(c) to live a miserly life
(d) to lead an active life
Ans: (b) to make both ends meet: to earn just enough money to be able to buy the things you need I have to work at two jobs to make both ends meet. The best option is to live within one’s income.

Q22. The students were advised to pore over the lessons thoroughly.
(a) go through (b) go down
(c) go off (d) go out
Ans: (a) pore over: to examine; to look at or read something very carefully She pored over the reports, looking for errors. The best option is go through.

Q23. The two famous writers crossed swords with each other on every issue.
(a) fought physically
(b) crossed the road on meeting
(c) took different routes
(d) disagreed
Ans: (d) crossed swords: to fight or argue with somebody Reena and Meena always cross swords with each other. The best option is disagreed.

Q24. The traffic came to a standstill after the heavy downpour of rain.
(a) complete halt
(b) accident spot
(c) diversion
(d) confused disorder
(a) standstill: a situation in which all activity or movement has stopped The accident brought the work to a standstill. The best option is complete halt.

Q25. Even though the new clerk was given a difficult task, he remained cool as a cucumber.
(a) not nervous or emotional
(b) caught cold
(c) was happy
(d) was scared
Ans: (a) cool as a cucumber: very calm and controlled, especially in a difficult situation The politician kept cool as a cucumber throughout the interview with the aggressive journalist. The best option is not nervous or emotional.

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