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Part 287 – IDIOMS/PHRASES Previous Year Questions

Q1. casting pearls before swine
(a) speaking nice words and convincing them
(b) offering good things to undeserving people
(c) uplifting the needy for their welfare
(d) doing worthwhile things to unknown people
(b) casting pearls before swine: to give or offer valuable things to people who do not understand their value Giving him advice is just casting pearls before swine. The best option is offering good things to undeserving people

Q2. to play second fiddle.
(a) to reduce the importance of one’s senior
(b) take a subordinate role
(c) to do back seat driving
(d) to be happy, cheerful and healthy
Ans: (b) to play second fiddle: to be treated as less important than somebody/something; to have a less important position I’m tired of playing second fiddle to Mehak. The best option is take a subordinate role.

Q3. Mary broke a diningroom window and had to face the music when her father got home.
(a) listen carefully
(b) ask a lot of questions
(c) listen to music
(d) accept the punishment
Ans: (d) face the music: bear the consequences He is prepared to face the music for his conduct at the meeting. The best option is accept the punishment.

Q4. Villagers always call a spade a spade.
(a) to speak in a straight forward manner
(b) to call someone a spade
(c) to speak ill about someone
(d) to speak about spades
Ans: (a) call a spade a spade: to call 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 speak in a straight forward manner.

Q5. I am out of my wits and therefore cannot find a way to solve the problem immediately.
(a) greatly confused
(b) helpless without power
(c) totally ignorant
(d) not intelligent enough
Ans: (a) out of my wits: to be extremely confused and frightened She was out of her wits and so could not find a solution to the problem. The best option is greatly confused.

Q6. Why are you jumping down my throat ? I wasn’t even in the house when it happened.
(a) making a joke
(b) scolding me
(c) forcing me to cat
(d) running away
(b) jumping down my throat: to react very angrily to somebody Just because I admitted being there, you needn’t jump down my throat. The best option is scolding me

Q7. Hard work pays in the long run.
(a) always
(b) over a period of time
(c) indefinitely
(d) never
Ans: (b) in the long run: concerning a longer period in the future He realized that in the long run, their argument wouldn’t seem so useless. The best option is over a period of time.

Q8. I felt a fish out of water among the lawyers.
(a) special (b) happy
(c) uncomfortable (d) proud
Ans: (c) a fish out of water: to feel uncomfortable All the other children in the school were from rich families, So, she was feeling like a fish out of water. The best option is uncomfortable

Q9. The Cauvery water issue led to apple of discord between the two Governments.
(a) cause of anger
(b) cause of hatred
(c) cause of quarrel
(d) cause of animosity
Ans: (d) apple of discord: cause of envy; a subject of quarrel animosity: a strong feeling of dislike or hatred The property is an apple of discord between the two. The best option is cause of animosity.

Q10. The construction remains unfinished and the workers have let the grass grow under their feet.
(a) grown grass all over the lawn
(b) gone on a luxury tour
(c) delay doing the work
(d) demanded more benefits
Ans: (c) let the grass grow under their feet: delay in getting things done Write your application today; don’t let the grass grow under you feet. The best option is delay doing the work

Q11. The police smelt the rat behind the death of the girl.
(a) got very much confused
(b) identified the cause of death
(c) suspected that something is fishy
(d) jumped to the conclusion
(c) smell the rat: to suspect that something is wrong about a situation I don’t think this was an accident. I smell a rat. The best option is suspected that something is fishy.

Q12. I have told you time and again not to make this mistake.
(a) always (b) often
(c) sometimes (d) rarely
Ans: (b) time and again: often; on many or all occasions He was warned time and again not to be late to office. The best option is often

Q13. He handled the situation with an iron fist
(a) strictly (b) leniently
(c) softly (d) wayward
Ans: (a) iron fist: treat people in a severe manner/strictly She rules the office with an iron fist. The best option is strictly

Q14. She is leaving the country for good.
(a) for the time being
(b) for good times
(c) temporarily
(d) permanently
(d) for good: permanently I’m moving to Europe for good. The best option is permanently

Q15. It poured cats & dogs
(a) rained heavily
(b) rained lightly
(c) dazzled
(d) hail storm
Ans: (a) poured cats and dogs: raining very heavily I’m not going out in that storm. It’s pouring cats and dogs. The best option is rained heavily.

Q16. The Manager was above board in all his dealings with his employees.
(a) dishonest (b) rude
(c) honest (d) charitable
Ans: (c) above board: legal and honest His financial dealings were always above board. The best option is honest.

Q17. Whenever I feel blue I like to listen to slow music.
(a) happy (b) gleeful
(c) troubled (d) gloomy
(d) feel blue: depressed You look like you feel blue. What’s wrong ? The best option is gloomy.

Q18. My ten yearold son is an incredible livewire.
(a) lazy (b) dangerous
(c) naughty (d) energetic
Ans: (d) livewire: a person who is lively and full of energy Seema is a real livewire; she brightens up any gathering. The best option is energetic.

Q19. He had to cool his heels before he could get an appointment with the doctor.
(a) to be kept waiting
(b) to make publicly known
(c) to excercise influence
(d) to lose one’s temper
Ans: (a) cool his heels: to have to wait for somebody/something I’ve been cooling my heels for at least an hour. The best option is to be kept waiting.

Q20. The captains of the rival teams should, try to bury the hatchet.
(a) put up a stiff competition
(b) make peace
(c) win the game
(d) forget the past
Ans: (b) bury the hatchet: to stop being unfriendly and become friends again Let’s stop arguing and bury the hatchet. The best option is make peace.

Q21. He stopped at the bar to wet his whistle.
(a) have a nap
(b) be happy
(c) have a problem
(d) have a drink
Ans: (d) wet his whistle: to moisten ones throat; to have a drink I’m just going to wet my whistle before I go out on the tennis court. The best option is have a drink.

Q22. Over the years, we remained loyal through thick and thin.
(a) to our principles
(b) to employers and subordinates
(c) in married life
(d) in spite of all the difficulties
(d) thick and thin: in spite of troubles and/or difficulties They remained friends through thick and thin. The best option is in spite of all the difficulties.

Q23. The issues were settled in court, but after a few days it was back to square one.
(a) to return to the starting point
(b) to run to the first square
(c) to start and return
(d) to come to a stop
Ans: (a) back to square one: a return to the situation you were in at the beginning of a project, task, etc. because you have made no real progress We’ve got to get this done without going back to square one. The best option is to return to the starting point.

Q24. Politicians enjoy blowing their own trumpets.
(a) to boast about their achievements
(b) to use one’s own trumpet
(c) to blow their trumpet loudly
(d) to praise others trumpeting
Ans: (a) blowing their own trumpets: boasting 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 to boast about their achievements.

Q25. Students must learn to keep their belongings in apple pie order.
(a) orderly preparation of apple pie
(b) in perfect order
(c) ordering for apple pie
(d) arranging apples neatly
Ans: (b) in apple pie order: in complete order; in perfect order I always put my table in apple pie order before leaving. The best option is in perfect order.

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