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Part 305 – IDIOMS/PHRASES Previous Year Questions

Q1. Weal and woe
(a) Friends and enemies
(b) Be in danger
(c) Adversity
(d) Good times and bad times
Ans: (d) Good times and bad times Weal and woe = good and bad times; the joys and sorrows; prosperity and misfortune. Look at the sentence: We all get our share of weal and woe in life.

Q2. Call in question
(a) Summon as a witness
(b) Doubtful
(c) Prove a theory
(d) Challenge
Ans: (d) Challenge Call in/into question = to cause something or someone to be evaluated; interrogate; to cause doubts. Look at the sentence: How can you call her honesty into question ?

Q3. Make both ends meet
(a) Live within means
(b) Achieve a solution
(c) Live among people
(d) End of the road
(a) Live within means Make both ends meet = earn just enough money to live on; manage; survive. Look at the sentence: They were finding it hard to make ends meet.

Q4. Put up the shutters
(a) Went out of business
(b) Experienced a downside
(c) Sold off assets
(d) Changed ownership
Ans: (a) Went out of business Put up the shutters = cease trading for the day or permanently. Look at the sentence: The village post office put up the shutters for the last time.

Q5. A drop in a bucket
(a) As much as possible
(b) Nothing at all
(c) A handsome amount
(d) A very insignificant amount
Ans: (d) A very insignificant amount A drop in a bucket = a very small or unimportant amount. Look at the sentence: What we were paid for our work was a drop in the bucket compared to what the company earned.

Q6. Draw a blank
(a) Paint something
(b) Find no favour
(c) Oblige someone
(d) Teach someone
(b) Find no favour Draw a blank = to fail to get an answer or a result. Look at the sentence: He asked me for my phone number and I drew a blank – I just couldn’t remember it.

Q7. As daft as a brush
(a) Extremely silly
(b) Artistically inclined
(c) Completely clean
(d) Utterly selfish
Ans: (a) Extremely silly As daft as a brush = to be very silly; lacking commonsense. Look at the sentence: He is a nice enough boy but he is as daft as a brush.

Q8. In a nutshell
(a) In translation
(b) A decorative language
(c) A wellpacked parcel
(d) Briefly and concisely
Ans: (d) Briefly and concisely In a nutshell = in a few words; concisely. Look at the sentence: Just give me the facts in a nutshell.

Q9. Strain every nerve
(a) Try all tricks
(b) Work very hard
(c) Beg before others
(d) Spend a large amount
(b) Work very hard Strain every nerve = make every possible effort. Look at the sentence: He strained every nerve to get a job for his wife.

Q10. Evening of life
(a) Old age (b) A party
(c) Holiday (d) None of these
Ans: (a) Evening of life = old age Look at the sentence: The residents of this rest home are all in the evening of life.

Q11. Button her lip
(a) Tell us more
(b) Stop talking
(c) Invite us too
(d) Enjoy herself
Ans: (b) to stop talking Button one’s lip = to be quiet; to stop talking; to say nothing. Look at the sentence: She did not want to get into a fight, so she decided to button her lip.

Q12. Invent cock and bull stories
(a) Delightful fables
(b) Ecofriendly accounts
(c) Absurd and unlikely stories
(d) Credible tales
(c) Absurd and unlikely stories Invent cock and bull stories = an absurd, improbable story presented as the truth; a fanciful and unbelievable tale. Look at the sentence: She told me some cock and bull story about her car breaking down.

Q13. Wild goose chase
(a) An admirable enterprise
(b) An honest effort
(c) A foolish, unprofitable adventure
(d) A powerful effort
Ans: (c) A foolish, unprofitable adventure Wild goose chase = a foolish and hopeless search for or in pursuit of something unattainable; a worthless hunt. Look at the sentence: John was angry because he was sent out on a wild goose chase.

Q14. Smell a rat
(a) Detect bad smell
(b) Suspect a trick or deceit
(c) Misunderstand
(d) See hidden meaning
Ans: (b) suspect a trick or deceit Smell a rat = to suspect that something is wrong; suspect a deceit. Look at the sentence: I don’t think this was an accident. I smell a rat.

Q15. A live wire
(a) Industrious and brilliant
(b) Lively and active
(c) Sincere and intelligent
(d) Sincere and efficient
(b) Lively and active A live wire = an energetic and unpredictable person; high spirited. Look at the sentence: When we saw you in the starlight club you were a real live wire.

Q16. Capital Punishment
(a) Death sentence
(b) Life imprisonment
(c) To be jailed
(d) Imprisoned for a long period
Ans: (a) Death sentence Capital Punishment = death penalty is a government sanctioned practice where by a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime.

Q17. Leaps and bounds
(a) Slowly (b) Rapidly
(c) Jumping (d) Stationary
Ans: (b) Rapidly By leaps and bounds = to become larger quickly; by large movements forward. Look at the sentence: The profits of my company are increasing by leaps and bounds.

Q18. Smell a rat
(a) Suspect something wrong
(b) Smell a burned rat
(c) Smell a rotten rat
(d) Smell something right
(a) Suspect something wrong Smell a rat = begin to suspect trickery or deception. Look at the sentence: When she died, investigators were called in who soon smelt a rat.

Q19. Feather in one’s cap
(a) Discrimination
(b) A new and additional distinction
(c) Hunting
(d) Bird watching
Ans: (b) A new and additional distinction Feather in one’s cap = an achievement to be proud of. Look at the sentence: It is a feather in your cap when you are asked to be captain.

Q20. Donkey’s years
(a) A decade (b) A long time
(c) A century
(d) Since school days
Ans: (b) A long time Donkey’s years = a very long time Look at the sentence: We have been close friends for donkey’s years.

Q21. Leave no stone unturned
(a) Try every possible way
(b) Behave smartly
(c) Constructing
(d) Wasting no time
(a) Try every possible way Leave no stone unturned = to do everything you can to achieve a good result. Look at the sentence: He left no stone unturned in his search for his natural mother.

Q22. A Man of letters
(a) Letterwriter
(b) Proofreader
(c) Postman (d) Scholar
Ans: (d) Scholar A man of letters = a male scholar or author; a man who knows a lot. Look at the sentence: He wished to fashion for himself a career as a man of letters.

Q23. Under a cloud
(a) Shocked (b) Sad
(c) Sick (d) Confused
Ans: (b) Sad Under a cloud = under suspicion or discredited; in trouble. Look at the sentence: He left under something of a cloud accused of misappropriating funds.

Q24. Bear in mind
(a) Respect (b) Observe
(c) Remember
(d) Pretend to listen
(c) Remember Bear in mind = to remember a piece of information when you are making decisions Look at the sentence: Bearing in mind that she has had so little experience, I thought she did very well.

Q25. Held up
(a) Kidnapped (b) Delayed
(c) Caught (d) Nabbed
Ans: (b) Delayed Held up = put off; withheld. Look at the sentence: We were held up for two hours on account of an accident.

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