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Part 303 – IDIOMS/PHRASES Previous Year Questions

Q1. keep body and soul together
(a) maintain his health
(b) continue with his work
(c) to have just enough to sustain
(d) be physical and spiritual
Ans: (c) keep body and soul together: stay alive especially in difficult circumstances; to have just enough to sustain. Here, to have just enough to sustain is the right option. Look at the sentence: Do you think a man can keep body and soul together by selling coconuts?

Q2. willo-thewisp
(a) smoky place
(b) marsh land
(c) unreal imagining
(d) rumour whispered by many
Ans: (c) will–o–the–wisp: a thing that is impossible to obtain; a person that you cannot depend on. Here, unreal imagining is the right option. Look at the sentence: To build a bridge across an ocean is like will -othe wisp.

Q3. cloakanddagger
(a) an armoured suit
(b) a game of martial skill
(c) an activity that involves mystery and secrecy
(d) a wide coat without sleeves and a small sword
Ans: (c) cloak and dagger: activities that are secret and mysterious, sometimes in a way that people think is unnecessary or ridiculous. Here, an activity that involves is the right option. Look at the sentence: Why can’t we be open about it ? Do we really need all this cloakand dagger stuff ?

Q4. palm off
(a) clearly visible
(b) uneasy with something
(c) to dispose off with the intent to deceive
(d) conceal
Ans:
(c) palm off: to persuade somebody to accept something that has no value; to dispose off with the intent to deceive. Here, to dispose off with the intent to deceive is the right option. Look at the sentence: Make sure he doesn’t try to palm you off with faulty goods.

Q5. My friend got the sack from his first job.
(a) resigned
(b) got tired of
(c) was dismissed from
(d) was demoted from
Ans: (c) get the sack from: being told by your employer that you can no longer continue working for a company etc. usually because of something that you have done wrong. Here, was dismissed from is the right usage.

Q6. The smell from the kitchen makes my mouth water.
(a) makes me giddy
(b) makes me vomit
(c) stimulates my appetite
(d) makes me sick
Ans: (c) stimulates my appetite mouthwatering: food looks or smells so good that you want to eat it immediately; tempting

Q7. His boss was always breathing down his neck.
(a) shouting loudly at him
(b) giving him strenuous work
(c) abusing and illtreating him
(d) watching all his actions closely
Ans: (d) waching all his actions closely breathe down somebody’s neck: to watch closely what somebody is doing in a way that makes them feel anxious or annoyed.

Q8. I have a bone to pick with you in this matter.
(a) am angry
(b) selfish motive
(c) selfless motive
(d) desire
Ans: (a) am angry have a bone to pick with somebody: to be angry with somebody about something

Q9. To work on this project is like flogging a dead horse.
(a) harp upon a question that has been settled
(b) dragging something too far
(c) overspending money
(d) None of these
Ans: (d) None of these flog a dead horse: to waste your effort by trying to do something that is no longer possible.

Q10. The cashier wiped the nose of his employer by presenting false bills.
(a) abused (b) cheated
(c) slapped (d) doomed
Ans: (b) cheated

Q11. She is quite at sea and does not know what course of action to take in the matter.
(a) at ease (b) displeased
(c) perplexed (d) danger
Ans: (c) perplexed at sea: confused and not knowing what to do.

Q12. It is time that professors came down from their ivory towers and studied the real needs of present day students.
(a) expensive fee
(b) detachment and seclusion
(c) dreamlands
(d) a tower made of ivory
Ans: (b) detachment and seclusion ivory tower: a situation where you are separated from the problems and practical aspects of normal life.

Q13. She was in a brown study and did not notice my entrance.
(a) sleep (b) dream
(c) fear (d) reverie
Ans: (d) reverie a brown study: a mood of deep absorption or thought fulness.

Q14. The inspector was caught red handed.
(a) quickly
(b) caught in the act of committing the crime
(c) caught with dirty hands
(d) found with hands tied
Ans:
(b) red handed: caught in the act of doing something wrong or illegal.

Q15. Smooth ruffled feathers
(a) Comb untidy hair
(b) Make people feel less offended
(c) Tousle someone’s hair
(d) Stroke a pet animal
Ans: (b) Smooth ruffled feathers = to make somebody feel less angry or offended. Look at the sentence: I spent the afternoon smoothing ruffled feathers and trying to convince people to give the talks another chance.

Q16. Assume airs
(a) Take tight
(b) Remain calm
(c) Act innocent
(d) Pretend superiority
Ans: (d) Assume airs = to pretend superiority Look at the sentence: He is in the habit of assuming airs in the presence of his inlaws.

Q17. Play truant
(a) Play a tyrant
(b) Stay away from duty
(c) Be responsible
(d) Be alert
Ans:
(b) Play truant = to stay away from school without permission.

Q18. Beggar description
(a) Cannot be described
(b) Something described by a beggar
(c) A poor account of something
(d) A description of a beggar
Ans: (a) Cannot be described Beggar description/belief = to be too extreme, shocking etc. to describe/believe. Look at the sentence: The beauty of Kashmir beggars description.

Q19. Drag one’s feet
(a) Make someting more complicated
(b) Expedite
(c) Be reluctant to act
(d) Stop working
Ans: (c) Be reluctant to act Drag one’s feet/heels = to be deliberately slow in doing something or in making a decision.

Q20. Hope against hope
(a) Think wishfully from time to time
(b) Hoped with good reason
(c) Nurture an impossible hope
(d) Pretend to hope
Ans:
(c) Nurture an impossible hope Hope against hope = to continue to hope for something although it is very unlikely to happen.

Q21. All moonshine
(a) Glowing
(b) Far from reality
(c) Celestial
(d) About the moon
Ans: (b) far from reality All moonshine = silly talk; nonsense. Look at the sentence: The promises made by the politicians are all moonshines.

Q22. At a snail’s pace
(a) Quietly
(b) Quickly
(c) Continuously
(d) Slowly
Ans: (d) slowly At a snail’s pace = very slowly. Look at the sentence: He won the game at snail’s pace.

Q23. Call on
(a) Telephone (b) Seek help
(c) Pay a visit (d) Order
Ans:
(c) Pay a visit Call on = to visit someone. Look at the sentence: Part of my job was to go out and call on farmers.

Q24. To bury the hatchet
(a) To make peace
(b) To dig the ground
(c) To negotiate
(d) To make war
Ans: (a) to make peace To bury the hatchet = to stop being unfriendly and become friends again.

Q25. Selling like hot cakes
(a) To have a good season
(b) To become as planned
(c) To have a very slow sale
(d) To have a very good sale
Ans: (d) To have a very good sale Selling like hot cakes = selling quickly or in great numbers.

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