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Part 298 – IDIOMS/PHRASES Previous Year Questions

Q1. to be down to earth.
(a) to be unreasonable
(b) to be pretentious
(c) to be realistic
(d) to be impractical
Ans: (c) to be down to earth: sensible and practical, in a way that is helpful and practical. I like her down to earth approach to problem solving. The best option is to be realistic

Q2. This argument does not hold water.
(a) seem rejectable
(b) seem logical
(c) seem approvable
(d) seem acceptable
Ans: (d) hold water: If something does holds water, you can believe it. Most of the agruments put forward by our opponents simply do not hold water. The best option is seem acceptable

Q3. The truant school boy told cockand
bull
stories to escape punishment.
(a) drab and boring
(b) authentic and realistic
(c) interesting and thrilling
(d) absurd and unbelievable
Ans:
(d) cock and bull stories: absurd and unbelievable. He was asked for an explanation, not a cock and bull story. The best option is asburd and unbelievable

Q4. The manager is not dismissed, but he is definitely under a cloud.
(a) under suspension
(b) under suspicion
(c) under scrutiny
(d) warned severely
Ans: (b) under a cloud: If somebody is under a cloud, other people think that they have done something wrong and are suspicious of them. Several people left the company under a cloud and are being investigated. The best option is under suspicion.

Q5. Do not pull a long face.
(a) look ugly (b) look tired
(c) look dejected (d) look happy
Ans: (c) pull a long face: an unhappy or disappointed expression; look dejected. He took one look at her long face and said, ‘what’s wrong ?’ The best option is look dejected

Q6. Who will believe, your cock and bull story?
(a) Ambiguous story
(b) Authentic story
(c) Absurd story
(d) Common story
Ans: (c) cock and bull story: a story that is unlikely to be true but is used as an excuse. The best option is absurd story

Q7. For years I could not shake off the trauma of that day.
(a) forget (b) remember
(c) imagine (d) None of these
Ans: (a) shake off: to get away from somebody who is chasing or following you; forget. We managed to shake off the photographers. The best option is forget

Q8. sit on the fence.
(a) to be in a tricky situation
(b) to be relaxed and comfortable
(c) halting between two opinions
(d) to be defeated and dejected
Ans:
(c) sit on the fence: to avoid becoming involved in deciding or influencing something. He tends to sit on the fence at meetings. The best option is halting between two opinions

Q9. The manager is not dismissed, but he is definitely under a cloud.
(a) under suspension
(b) under suspicion
(c) under scrutiny
(d) warned severely
Ans: (b) under a cloud: If somebody is under a cloud, other people think that they have done something wrong and are suspicious of them. Here, under suspicion is the right option. Look at the sentence: She resigned under a cloud.

Q10. Do not pull a long face.
(a) look ugly (b) look tired
(c) look dejected
(d) look happy
Ans: (c) pull a long face: an unhappy or disappointed expression; look dejected. Here, look dejected is the right option. Look at the sentence: He took one look at her long face and said ‘what’s wrong ?’

Q11. Who will believe, your cock and bull story?
(a) ambiguous story
(b) authentic story
(c) absurd story
(d) common story
Ans: (c) cock and bull story: a story that is unlikely to be true but is used as an excuse. Here, absurd story is the right option. Look at the sentence: His reply was some cock and bull story about having to give her a lift home.

Q12. For years I could not shake off the trauma of that day.
(a) forget
(b) remember
(c) imagine
(d) None of these
Ans: (a) shake off: to get away from somebody who is chasing or following you; forget. Here, forget is the right option. Look at the sentence: Investors failed to shake off worries about the economy.

Q13. sit on the fence.
(a) to be in a tricky situation
(b) to be relaxed and comfortable
(c) halting between two opinions
(d) to be defeated and dejected
Ans:
(b) sit on the fence: to avoid becoming involved in deciding or influencing something. Here, halting between two opinions is the right option. Look at the sentence: He tends to sit on the fence at meetings.

Q14. to have an axe to grind
(a) to criticize someone
(b) to fail to arouse interest
(c) to work for both sides
(d) to have a selfish end to serve
Ans: (d) to have an axe to grind: to have private reasons for being involved in something Look at the sentence: He had no axe to grind and was only acting out of concern for their safety. Here, to have a selfish end to serve is the right option.

Q15. a hornet’s nest
(a) a comfortable position
(b) an unpleasant situation
(c) among thorns
(d) a dilemma
Ans: (b) a hornet’s nest: a difficult situation in which a lot of people get very angry Look at the sentence: His letter to the papers stirred up a real hornets’ nest. Here, an unpleasant situation is the right usage.

Q16. to roll out the red carpet
(a) to buy a gift
(b) to give a warning signal
(c) to decorate the room
(d) to give a grand welcome
Ans: (d) to roll out the red carpet: to give a special welcome to someone important Look at the sentence: I didn’t expect to be given the red carpet treatment Here, to give a grand welcome is the right usage.

Q17. to put his foot down
(a) concede (b) not to yield
(c) resign (d) withdraw
Ans: (b) to put his foot down: to be very strict in opposing what somebody wishes to do Look at the sentence: You have got to put your foot down and make him stop seeing her. Here, not to yield is the right usage.

Q18. have a foot in the grave
(a) be afraid to die.
(b) have no interest in life.
(c) be close to death.
(d) have an incurable disease.
Ans: (c) have one foot in the grave: to be so old or ill/sick that you are not likely to live much longer. Look at the sentence: I was so sick that I felt as if I had one foot in the grave. Here, be close to death is the right usage.

Q19. to put one’s hand to plough
(a) to take up a difficult task
(b) to get entangled into unnecessary things
(c) to take up agricultural farming
(d) take interest in technical work
Ans: (a) to put one’s hand to plough: to embark on/ take up a difficult task Look at the sentence: She needed a rest, but she had put her hand to the plough. Here, to take up a difficult task is the right option.

Q20. to pick holes
(a) to find some reason to quarrel
(b) to criticise someone
(c) to cut some part of an item
(d) to destroy something
Ans: (b) to pick holes: to find the weak points. Look at the sentence: It was easy to pick holes in his arguments. Here, to criticise someone is the right option.

Q21. He is like a snake in the grass for our family.
(a) a stupid person
(b) a close friend
(c) a distant relative
(d) a hidden rival
Ans: (d) snake in the grass: a person who pretends to be your friend but who cannot be trusted. Look at the sentence: It’s upsetting to learn that someone you once viewed as a good colleague is in fact a snake in the grass. Here, a hidden rival is the right option

Q22. God’s acre refers to which of the following places ?
(a) Church (b) Aisle
(c) A cemetery beside a Church
(d) Altar
Ans: (c) God’s acre: a church yard burial area Here, A cemetery beside a Church is the right option

Q23. She wrangled over an ass’s shadow.
(a) did unnecessary work
(b) quarrelled like fools
(c) sat on the shadow of the ass
(d) quarrelled over trifles
Ans:
(d) wrangled over an ass’s shadow: to fight/quarrel over trivial and insignificant matters Look at the sentence: Only foolish people wrangle over an ass’s shadow. Here, quarrelled over trifles is the right option.

Q24. to beat the rap
(a) to destroy stereotypes
(b) to be more successful than others
(c) to be acquitted of a crime
(d) to involve someone in a crime
Ans:
(c) to beat the rap: to escape without being punished. Look at the sentence: He was charged with drunk driving, but he beat the rap. Here, to be acquitted of a crime is the right option.

Q25. The team captain was at sixes and sevens regarding his winning strategy.
(a) careless
(b) confident
(c) confused
(d) courageous
Ans: (c) at sixes and sevens: in confusion; not well organised. Look at the sentence: I haven’t had time to clear up, so I’m all at sixes and sevens. Here, confused is the right option

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