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Part 294 – IDIOMS/PHRASES Previous Year Questions

Q1. Goods will be delivered if you pay on the nail.
(a) pay within the given time
(b) pay the full amount
(c) pay promptly in cash
(d) pay promptly
Ans: (d) pay on the nail: payment without delay. They are good customers who always pay on the nail. The best option is pay promptly.

Q2. If people do not mend their ways, they are sure to go to the dogs.
(a) to fight
(b) to be ruined
(c) to be united
(d) to be rough
Ans: (b) go to the dogs: to get into a very bad situation. He was a marvellous actor, but his drinking problems caused his career to go to the dogs. The best option is to be ruined.

Q3. Despite the doctor’s advice he still eats like a horse.
(a) eats slowly
(b) eats a lot of food
(c) does not like to eat
(d) swallows his food
(b) eat like a horse: to eat a lot. John works like a horse and eats like a horse, so he never gets fat. The best option is eats a lot of food.

Q4. The trial made a mockery of justice.
(a) people mocked at the judgement
(b) it was a mock trial
(c) there was no serious outcome
(d) made the system look ridiculous
Ans: (c) Make a mockery of something: to make something seem ridiculous or useless. The film made a mockery of a serious illness. The best option is there was no serious outcome

Q5. His recent statement is an about turn.
(a) a good announcement
(b) a declaration of war
(c) complete change of opinion
(d) a bold statement
Ans: (c) an about turn: a complete change of opinion, plan or behaviour etc. The government did an about turn over nuclear energy. The best option is complete change of opinion.

Q6. When he left he was extremely disappointed. I think he’s gone for good.
(a) to seek good fortune
(b) to a good place
(c) to a foreign country
(d) permanently
Ans: (d) for good: permanently This time she’s leaving for good. The best option is permanently

Q7. to grease the palm
(a) to rub oil on the hand
(b) to lubricate the machine parts
(c) to bribe
(d) to cut the tree
Ans: (c) to grease the palm: to give somebody money in order to persuade them to do something dishonest; bribe. Some of those candidates spent money greasing the palms of local political bosses. The best option is to bribe

Q8. You find a black sheep in every community.
(a) one who does not co–operate
(b) person with bad reputation
(c) one who lives the life of shame
(d) one who is always doing wrong
(b) black sheep: a person who is considered bad or embarrassing. He is the black sheep of the family. The best option is person with bad reputation

Q9. We consider the 14th of February a red letter day.
(a) a day to write with red pens
(b) a day marked in red
(c) a day to write letters
(d) an important day
Ans: (d) a red letter day: an important day. Independence Day is a red letter day in Indian History. The best option is an important day

Q10. You need to improve your work because it is not up to the mark.
(a) up to the potential displayed
(b) according to the required standard
(c) as good as the others
(d) marked properly and accurately
Ans: (c) up to the mark/up to snuff/ up to scratch: as good as it should be. Your work isn’t really up to the mark. The best option is according to the required standard.

Q11. Your report of the matter is all moonshine.
(a) familiar (b) acceptable
(c) concocted (d) excellent
Ans: (c) all moonshine: silly talk ; nonsense That’s just moonshine I don’t believe a word. concocted (V.): to make up The best option is concocted

Q12. At the police station, he showed a clean pair of heels.
(a) ran away
(b) displayed clean heels
(c) kneeled down
(d) showed courage
Ans: (a) show a clean pair of heels: to run away fast; to flee swiftly. Bobby showed them all a clean pair of heels as he raced for the finishing line. The best option is ran away

Q13. I am sure the girls will fight tooth and nail for their rights.
(a) with all their might
(b) without any weapon
(c) in a cowardly manner
(d) with all their rights
Ans: (a) tooth and nail: with all strength. The residents are fighting tooth and nail to stop the new development The best option is with all their might

Q14. The President gave away the prizes to the winners.
(a) let go (b) released
(c) gave back (d) distributed
Ans: (d) give away: distribute The mayor gave away the prizes at the school sports day. The best option is distributed

Q15. The manager gave his assistant a piece of his mind.
(a) suggestion (b) advice
(c) gist (d) scolding
Ans: (d) give somebody a piece of your mind: to tell somebody that you disapprove of their behaviour or are angry with them. There’s the car that almost hit us this afternoon- I’m going to give those people a piece of my mind. The best option is scolding

Q16. His observations were beside the mark.
(a) irrelevant (b) criticized
(c) valid (d) excellent
Ans: (a) beside the mark: not to be accurate, hence irrelevant. That’s very interesting, but beside the mark. The best option is irrelevant

Q17. He wanted this agreement in black and white.
(a) in writing (b) orally
(c) in discourse (d) in detail
Ans: (a) in black and white: in writing I never thought they’d put it in black and white on the front page. The best option is in writing

Q18. The principal of this school is a hard nut to crack.
(a) generous (b) difficult
(c) careless (d) kind
(b) a hard nut to crack: a difficult situation or problem to deal with. A company whose product has sold well in the states may find the European market a tougher nut to crack. The best option is difficult

Q19. to cut the Gordian knot
(a) to perform a difficult task
(b) to cut a piece of cloth
(c) to perform an easy task
(d) to do a job perfunctorily
Ans: (a) to cut the Gordian knot: to solve a problem by taking action. I’m trying to devise some kind of way by which we can cut the gordion knot without going through the bureaucracy. The best option is to perform a difficult task.

Q20. The shopping mall is a bee hive of activity.
(a) a busy place
(b) a secure place
(c) a sweet place
(d) a costly place
Ans: (a) a beehive (N.): a place where busy people are assembled ; a crowded, busy place. Where ever you go an airport a railway station, etc. – all seem to be a beehive. The best option is a busy place

Q21. We must draw the line somewhere.
(a) put the screw on
(b) fix a limit
(c) aim at the sky
(d) turn the tables
Ans: (b) to draw the line: to set a limit. We would have liked to invite all our relatives, but you have to draw the line somewhere. The best option is fix a limit.

Q22. The officer was in the soup when there was a raid in his office.
(a) preparing soup
(b) drinking soup
(c) distributing soup
(d) to be in trouble
Ans: (d) in the soup: in trouble We’re all in the soup now. The best option is to be in trouble

Q23. to win laurels
(a) to be victorious in a game
(b) to memorise
(c) to be disappointed
(d) to earn great prestige
(d) laurels: honour and praise given to somebody because of something that they have achieved She won laurels for her first novel. The best option is to earn great prestige.

Q24. The minister took a bird’s eye view of the problem.
(a) vision of a bird
(b) visualize
(c) see without giving attention
(d) a general view from above
Ans: (d) a bird’s eye view: a view of something from a high position looking down From the top of the church tower you get a splendid bird’s eye view of the village. The best option is a general view from above.

Q25. He is a fine man, but to call him a saint is laying it on thick.
(a) an exaggeration
(b) a compulsion
(c) a development
(d) a reality
Ans: (a) lay it on thick: to talk about somebody/something in a way than they really are; exaggerate Praise them when necessary, but don’t lay it on too thick. The best option is an exaggeration

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