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Part 293 – IDIOMS/PHRASES Previous Year Questions

Q1. His plan was so complicated that it floored his listeners.
(a) encouraged (b) annoyed
(c) entertained (d) puzzled
Ans: (d) floor: to surprise or confuse somebody so that he may not sure what to say or do; puzzle His reply completely flooredme. The best option is puzzled

Q2. My uncle’s business has gone to the dogs.
(a) is ruined (b) is dead
(c) is sick (d) is angry
Ans: (a) go to the dogs: to go into a very bad state ; ruin. This firm has gone to the dogs since the new management took over. The best option is is ruined

Q3. Despite the highs and lows, life tends to average itself out.
(a) balance itself
(b) be unvarying
(c) show equal value
(d) get compatible
Ans: (a) average out: to balance ; to result in an average amount over a period of time. Sometimes I pay, sometimes he pays; it seems to average out our budget. The best option is balance itself

Q4. On second thoughts she refused to accept his invitation.
(a) on reconsidering
(b) reviewing leisurely
(c) moral grounds
(d) seeing his brashness
Ans: (a) on second thoughts: used to say that you have changed your opinion You’re not having second thoughts about it, are you ? The best option is reconsidering

Q5. I stirred the hornet’s nest by my honest statement.
(a) responded to criticism angrily
(b) caused anger in many people
(c) stopped people criticizing someone
(d) acted with energy and interest
Ans: (b) stir the hornets’ nest: a difficult situation in which a lot of people get very angry. His letter to the papers stirred up a real hornets’ nest. The best option is caused anger in many people

Q6. He knows how to break in horses.
(a) rear (b) tend
(c) train (d) force
Ans: (c) break in: to train somebody/ something in something new that he must do. The young horse was not yet broken in (trained to carry a rider). The best option is train

Q7. The judge declared the agreement null and void.
(a) empty (b) annulled
(c) unavoidable (d) not binding
Ans: (d) null and Void: having no legal force ; not valid The contract was declared null and void. The best option is not binding

Q8. We should bury the hatchet and become friends.
(a) obtain
(b) influence friends
(c) make peace
(d) keep a secret
(c) bury the hatchet: to stop being unfriendly and become friends again After not speaking to each other for years, the two brothers decided to bury the hatchet. The best option is make peace

Q9. to get into hot waters.
(a) to be impatient
(b) to suffer loss
(c) to get into trouble
(d) to be in a confused state of mind
Ans: (c) be in/get into hot water: to be in or get into trouble. He found himself in hot water over his speech about immigration. The best option is to get into trouble.

Q10. My student is one who knows how many beans make five.
(a) knows mathematical calculations
(b) is fiercely loyal
(c) well informed and intelligent
(d) is accurate and precise
Ans: (c) know how many beans make five: well informed and intelligent. She knows how many beans make five. The best option iswell informed and intelligent.

Q11. I can work for six hours at a stretch.
(a) continuously
(b) occasionally
(c) maximum
(d) minimum
Ans: (a) at a stretch: a continuous period of time. The baby doesn’t sleep for more than three hours at a stretch. The best option is continuously.

Q12. It was he who put a spoke in my wheel.
(a) tried to cause an accident
(b) helped in the execution of the plan
(c) thwarted in the execution of the plan
(d) destroyed the plan
Ans: (c) put a spoke in somebody’s wheel: to prevent somebody from putting their plans into operation. His letter really put a spoke in our wheel. The best option is thwarted in the execution of the plan.

Q13. Our fleet bore down upon the enemy.
(a) moved quickly backwards
(b) moved quickly to the left
(c) moved quickly to the right
(d) moved quickly towards
Ans: (d) bear down: to move quickly towards somebody/something in a determined or threatening way. The storm bore down and ravaged the island. The best option ismoved quickly towards.

Q14. The rock concert proved to be a big draw.
(a) favourite
(b) huge attraction
(c) gain
(d) big bang
Ans: (b) a big draw: to get attraction/ attention; success The cricket match proved to be a big draw. The best option is huge attraction.

Q15. Look sharp or you will miss the opportunity.
(a) be confident
(b) pay attention
(c) take control
(d) make haste
(b) look sharp: be alert The coach told the team they would have to look sharp if they wanted to win. The best option is pay attention.

Q16. Our old Rolls Royce has become a white elephant.
(a) a costly but useless possession
(b) antique item or possession
(c) any traditional possession
(d) a unique item or possession
Ans: (a) The new office block has become an expensive white elephant The best option is a costly but useless possession.

Q17. Since the children were young, their parents have always taught them to cut one’s coat according to one’s cloth.
(a) be thrifty
(b) live life to the full
(c) live within one’s means
(d) be fair
Ans: (c) to cut one’s coat according to one’s cloth: to only buy what you have enough money to pay for we would like a bigger house, but we must cut our coat according to our cloth. The best option is live within one’s means.

Q18. The lawyer’s closing arguments were full of red herrings.
(a) sound judgement
(b) references and allusions to previous crimes
(c) clues intended to distract or mislead
(d) loopholes
(c) red herring: an unimportant fact, idea, event etc. that takes people’s attention from the important ones. He deliberately threw a red herring into the conversation. The best option is clues intended to distract/mislead.

Q19. With great difficulty, he was able to carve out a niche for himself.
(a) became a sculptor
(b) did the best he could do
(c) destroyed his career
(d) developed a specific position for himself
Ans: (d) carve out a niche: to work hard in order to have a successful career, reputation etc. In today’s competitive market it’s better to carve out a niche and try to become The best option is the best in that area. developed a specific position for himself.

Q20. You will succeed if you follow my advice to the letter.
(a) about writing letters
(b) written in the letters
(c) in every detail
(d) very thoughtfully
Ans: (c) to the letter: doing/following exactly what somebody/ something says, paying attention to every detail. I followed your instructions to the letter. The best option is in every detail.

Q21. A critic’s work is to read between the lines.
(a) to comprehend the meaning
(b) to appreciate the inner beauty
(c) to understand the inner meaning
(d) to read carefully
Ans: (c) to read between the lines: to look for or discover a meaning in something that is not openly stated. Reading between the lines, I think she needs money. The best option is to understand the inner meaning.

Q22. Where discipline is concerned I put my foot down.
(a) take a firm stand
(b) take a light stand
(c) take a heavy stand
(d) take a shaky stand
Ans: (a) put your foot down: to be very strict in opposing what somebody wishes to do. you’ve got to put your foot down and make him stop seeing her. The best option is take a firm stand

Q23. The convict claimed innocence and stood his ground in spite of the repeated accusations.
(a) knelt
(b) surrendered
(c) kept standing
(d) refused to yield
(d) stand/hold your ground: to continue with your opinions or intentions when somebody is opposing you. Don’t let him persuade youstand your ground. The best option is refused to yield

Q24. The two friends are now at daggers drawn over a petty issue.
(a) angry (b) frustrated
(c) enemies (d) competitors
Ans: (a) at daggers drawn: if two people are at daggers drawn, they are very angry with each other. They have been at daggers drawn for weeks over tactics. The best option is angry.

Q25. His work seems to be a Penelope’s web.
(a) endless (b) difficult
(c) declining
(d) in his best form
Ans: (a) a penelope’s web: a job that never ends ; an endless job. Debates are a penelopes web. The best option is endless.

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