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Part 281 – IDIOMS/PHRASES Previous Year Questions

Q1. to explore every avenue
(a) to search all streets
(b) to scout the wilderness
(c) to find adventure
(d) to try every opportunity
Ans: (d) to explore every avenue: to investigate every possible means to find a solution to a given problem or to achieve a desired outcome We’ve explored all avenues but I just can’t see how we can continue living in this house. The best option is to try every opportunity.

Q2. a red letter day
(a) a dangerous day in one’s life
(b) a sorrowful day in one’s life
(c) an important or joyful occasion in one’s life
(d) both a dangerous and sorrowful day in one’s life
Ans: (c) a redletter day: an important day 15th August is a redletter day in the history of India. The best option is an important or joyful occasion in one’s life.

Q3. to have something up one’s sleeve
(a) to hide something in the sleeve
(b) to play a magician trick
(c) to have a secret plan
(d) to play hide and seek
Ans: (c) to have something up one’s sleeve: to have a secret plan I have something up my sleeve that will solve all your problems. The best option is to have a secret plan.

Q4. on the spur of the moment
(a) to act at once
(b) to ride a horse in a race
(c) to act deliberately
(d) to act at the appointed time
Ans:
(a) on the spur of the moment: suddenly, without planning in advance We decided to go on the spur of the moment. The best option is to act at once.

Q5. to bring to light
(a) to reveal
(b) to conceal
(c) to provide luminescence
(d) to appeal
Ans: (a) to bring to light: to make new information known to people After careful investigation all the facts of the case were brought to light. The best option is to reveal.

Q6. to hit the jackpot
(a) to gamble
(b) to get an unexpected victory
(c) to be wealthy
(d) to make money quickly
Ans: (d) to hit the jackpot: being successful; to win a large amount of money in a game of chance He hit the jackpot in a big contest. The best option is to make money quickly.

Q7. to burn the candle at both ends
(a) to spend cautiously
(b) to be stingy
(c) work hard
(d) to survive difficulty
Ans: (c) to burn the candle at both ends: to work very hard and stay up very late at night Jenny has been burning the candle at both ends for weeks, working two jobs during the week. The best option is to work hard.

Q8. status quo
(a) unchanged position
(b) excellent place
(c) unbreakable statue
(d) long queue
Ans: (a) status – quo: the situation as it is now, or as it was before a recent change We don’t want to admit more students to the school; we like the status quo. The best option is unchanged position.

Q9. by fair means or foul
(a) without using common sense
(b) without difficulty
(c) in any way honest or dishonest
(d) having been instigated
Ans:
(c) by fair means or foul: using dishonest methods if honest ones do not work He was determined to become the Chief Minister, by fair means or foul. The best option is in any way honest or dishonest.

Q10. to look down one’s nose
(a) to show anger
(b) to retaliate
(c) to insult in the presence of others
(d) to regard with contempt
Ans: (d) to look down one’s nose: to behave in a way that suggests that you think that you are better than somebody or that something is not good enough for you; to regard with contempt My cousin looks down his nose because we’re homeless. The best option is to regard with contempt.

Q11. to shed crocodile tears
(a) to weep profusely
(b) to pretend grief
(c) to grieve seriously
(d) to mock something
Ans: (b) to shed crocodile tears: to pretend to be sad about something but is not really sad at all The child wasn’t really sad, but she shed crocodile tears anyway. The best option is to pretend grief.

Q12. by putting two and two together
(a) to mix several things
(b) to make an arithmetical calculation
(c) to keep people in pairs
(d) to deduce from given facts
Ans: (d) by putting two and two together: to guess the truth from what you see, hear, etc. I put two and two together and came up with an idea of who did it. The best option is to deduce from given facts.

Q13. to go scotfree
(a) to walk like a native of Scotland
(b) to get something free
(c) to escape without punishment
(d) to save tax
Ans: (c) to go scotfree: to go without receiving the punishment one deserves Reena cheated in the test and got caught, but she went scotfree. The best option is to escape without punishment.

Q14. at the eleventh hour
(a) at eleven O’clock
(b) at the wrong time
(c) at the last possible moment
(d) at the initial moment itself
Ans:
(c) at the eleventh hour: at the last possible time She always revises for her exams. at the eleventh hour. The best option is at the last possible moment.

Q15. birds of the same feather
(a) persons of same caste
(b) persons of same colour
(c) birds with same type of feather
(d) persons of same character
Ans: (d) birds of the same feather: people of the same sort Chayanika and Aadya are birds of the same feather. They get along very well. The best option is persons of same character.

Q16. to fight tooth and nail
(a) to fight a losing battle
(b) to fight heroically
(c) to fight cowardly
(d) to make every possible effort
Ans: (d) to fight tooth and nail: to fight in a very determined way for what you want They vowed to fight the new legislation tooth and nail. The best option is to make every possible effort.

Q17. to call a spade a spade
(a) to be frank
(b) to be sly
(c) to be rude
(d) to be diplomatic
Ans: (a) to call a spade a spade: to say exactly what you think without trying to hide your opinion Vinay is a person who calls a spade a spade and is fearless. The best option is to be frank.

Q18. a white elephant
(a) an extinct species of elephant found in Burma
(b) a report by the government to give information
(c) huge and colossal waste of human energy
(d) costly and troublesome possession useless to its owner
Ans: (d) a white elephant: costly and useless possession The new office block has become an expensive white elephant. The best option is costly and troublesome possession, useless to its owner.

Q19. to miss the bus
(a) to miss the bus that one regularly takes
(b) to miss an opportunity
(c) to have something to fall back upon
(d) to find fault with others
Ans:
(b) to miss the bus: to unable to take advantage of something because you are too late She missed the bus when she did not apply for the entrance exams, this year. The best option is to miss an opportunity.

Q20. As a businessman, my father always maintained that his transactions constituted an open book.
(a) an account book always open
(b) a book of open confessions
(c) an opening for new ventures
(d) straight forward and honest dealings
Ans: (d) an open – book: to understand somebody easily and know everything about him Your health secrets will be an open – book to anyone who can do an online search. The best option is straight forward and honest dealings.

Q21. The project advanced by leaps and bounds.
(a) rapidly (b) slowly
(c) sharply (d) simply
Ans: (a) by leaps and bounds: rapidly India is progressing by leaps and his bounds. The best option is rapidly.

Q22. She is too fond of her own voice.
(a) loves singing
(b) very selfish
(c) does not listen properly to anyone else
(d) very talkative
Ans: (c) too fond of her own voice: to like talking a lot or too much, usually without wanting to listen to other people Akshita is too fond of her own voice. The best option is does not listen properly to anyone else.

Q23. Indian police is, on the whole, high handed in dealing with citizens.
(a) kind (b) overbearing
(c) prompt (d) adept
Ans: (b) highhanded: overbearing ; using authority in an unreasonable way, without considering the opinions of other people He is an arrogant and highhanded man. The best option is overbearing.

Q24. I take exception to your statement that I am bad tempered.
(a) do not agree
(b) feel unhappy
(c) object
(d) feel angry
Ans:
(c) take exception: to object strongly The manager took exception to the statement about having only three employees. The best option is object.

Q25. The officer called for an explanation from the cashier for the shortage of cash.
(a) asked
(b) begged
(c) served a notice
(d) demanded
Ans: (a) called for: to ask The player was called for an explanation for his bad performance in the game. The best option is asked.

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