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Part 300 – IDIOMS/PHRASES Previous Year Questions

Q1. to angle
(a) to measure the river breadth
(b) to fish with a net
(c) to fish
(d) to sit and watch the river
(c) To angle (go angling): to catch fish with a line and a hook. Here, to fish is the right option.

Q2. fit like a glove
(a) to fit snugly
(b) something tight and sticky
(c) soft and easy to wear
(d) difficult to hold
Ans: (a) fit like a glove: to be the perfect size or shape for somebody Look at the sentence: The dress fits me like a glove. Here, to fit snugly is the right option

Q3. pull a long face
(a) to make fun
(b) to look sad
(c) to irritate someone
(d) to pull someone’s face
Ans: (b) pull a long face: to have an unhappy or disappointed expression. Look at the sentence: He took one look at her long face and said ‘what’s wrong ?’ Here, to look sad is the right option

Q4. cat nap
(a) take a long sleep
(b) sleep like a cat
(c) make a snoring sound while sleeping
(d) to sleep briefly
Ans: (d) cat nap: brief sleep Look at the sentence: I am going to try to squeeze in a cat nap before my next shift starts Here, to sleep briefly is the right option

Q5. to flog a dead horse
(a) to act in a foolish way
(b) to waste one’s efforts
(c) to revive interest in an old effort
(d) None of these
(b) to flog a dead horse: to waste your effort by trying to do something that is no longer possible Look at the sentence: You’re flogging a dead horse trying to persuade Simon to come to Spain with us. Here, to waste one’s efforts is the right option.

Q6. beat around the bush
(a) walk around the forest
(b) clean the bushy areas
(c) avoiding the main topic
(d) play around the forest
Ans: (c) beat around the bush: to talk about something for a long time without coming to the main point. Look at the sentence: Stop beating about/ around the bush and tell me what you want. Hence, avoiding the main topic is the right option.

Q7. make room
(a) clean the room
(b) make space
(c) attain the room
(d) make a clean sweep
Ans: (b) make room: make space Look at the sentence: How can we make room for all the furniture ? Hence, make space is the right option.

Q8. mend your ways
(a) happy with one’s behaviour
(b) sad with one’s behaviour
(c) destroy one’s behaviour
(d) improve one’s behaviour
(d) mend your ways: to stop behaving badly. Look at the sentence: You should mend your ways to win her trust. Hence, improve one’s behaviour is the right option.

Q9. for keeps
(a) himself (b) away
(c) forever (d) hid
Ans: (c) for keeps: for ever Look at the sentence: Is it yours for keeps or does he want it back ? Here, forever is the right option.

Q10. pale into insignificance
(a) seemed less important
(b) was less exciting
(c) was less hectic
(d) was dull and pale
Ans: (a) pale into insignificance: to seem less important when compared with something else. Look at the sentence: Last year’s riots pale into insignificance with this latest outburst of violence. Here, seemed less important is the right option.

Q11. with one voice
(a) by one man
(b) by one community
(c) unanimously
(d) in disharmony
(c) with one voice: unanimously; with everyone agreeing. Look at the sentence: The various opposition parties speak with one voice on this issue. Here, unanimously is the right option.

Q12. made light of
(a) did not hear
(b) treated it lightly
(c) blew away
(d) carried with him
Ans: (b) make light of something: to treat something as not being important and not serious. Here, treated it lightly is the right option.

Q13. every inch a gentleman
(a) somewhat (b) partly
(c) entirely (d) calculatively
Ans: (c) every inch a gentleman: completely; entirely. Here, entirely is the right option.

Q14. gall and wormwood
(a) a problem
(b) hateful
(c) useless
(d) hard to digest
(b) gall and wormwood: hateful; bitter. Here, hateful is the right option.

Q15. to add fuel to the fire
(a) prevent fire from dying out
(b) make the fire burn brightly
(c) make things worse
(d) waste fuel for no reason
Ans: (c) to add fuel to the fire: to make something especially an argument worse. Here, make things worse is the right option. Look at the sentence: His remarks simply added fuel to the fire of her rage.

Q16. to take to heart
(a) to be greatly affected
(b) to take something heartily
(c) to strike at the heart, out of enjoyment
(d) to suffer from heart disease
Ans: (a) to take to heart: to feel keenly, be greatly grieved at; be much affected by something. Here, to be greatly affected is the right option. Look at the sentence: He really took it to heart when I asked him to reconsider.

Q17. to bring to light
(a) to put on light
(b) to reveal
(c) to bring a light
(d) to arrange light sufficiently
(b) to bring to light: reveal or disclose something previously hidden or secret. Here, to reveal is the right option. Look at the sentence: After careful investigation all the facts of the case were brought to light.

Q18. pros and cons
(a) professionals
(b) con artists
(c) professionals and con artists
(d) advantages and disadvantages
Ans: (d) pros and cons: favourable and unfavourable factors ; advantages and disadvantages Here, advantages and disadvantages is the right option. Look at the sentence: One should weigh the pros and cons of any new venture.

Q19. once in a blue moon
(a) very rarely (b) common
(c) predictable (d) ordinary
Ans: (a) once in a blue moon: hardly ever ; almost never ; very rarely. Here, very rarely is the right option. Look at the sentence: He comes to me once in a blue moon.

Q20. fish out of water
(a) dehydrated
(b) comfortable position
(c) an uncomfortable position
(d) fish in an aquarium
(c) fish out of water: an uncomfortable situation ; an awkward situation. Here, an uncomfortable position is the right option. Look at the sentence: After living in Hong Kong for most of his life, he was a fish out of water in Los Angeles.

Q21. be down with
(a) suffering from
(b) in grief with
(c) in pain with
(d) aching with
Ans: (a) be down with: to have or catch an illness. Here, suffering from is the right option. Look at the sentences: She had to go home early today. I think she’s down with flu. He is down with fever.

Q22. fair–weather friend
(a) honest only when easy and convenient
(b) truthful only when easy and convenient
(c) supports only when easy and convenient
(d) temporary only when easy and convenient
Ans: (c) fair weather friend: somebody who stops being a friend when you are in trouble. Here, supports only when easy and convenient is the right option. Look at the sentence: You can’t rely on her, she’s just a fairweather friend.

Q23. pull together
(a) become friends
(b) work harmoniously
(c) be successful
(d) live happily
(b) (a) pull together: to act, work etc. together with other people in an organised way and without fighting. Here, work harmoniously is the right option. Look at the sentence: If we pull together as a team, we can get this job done on time.

Q24. to give oneself airs
(a) space to breathe
(b) time
(c) acting strange
(d) behaving arrogantly
Ans: (d) to give oneself airs: to behave arrogantly. Look at the sentence: Stop giving yourself airs and act like the rest of us. Hence, behaving arrogantly is the right option.

Q25. at a stone’s throw
(a) at a short distance
(b) at a place where quarrels take place
(c) at a great distance
(d) a quarry
Ans: (a) at a stone’s throw: a very short distance away. Look at the sentence: We live just a stone’s throw from here. Hence, at a short distance is the right option.

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