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Part 297 – IDIOMS/PHRASES Previous Year Questions

Q1. He worked hard to feather his nest.
(a) trap birds
(b) decorate his home
(c) be the envy of others
(d) provide for his own needs
Ans: (d) feather your nest: to make yourself richer, especially by spending money on yourself that should be spent on something else. Raju’s many profitable consulting assignments enabled him to feather his nest quite comfortably. The best option is provide for his own needs

Q2. Shyam Prasad was a chip of the old block.
(a) a being of the old generation
(b) an experienced old man
(c) a common boy of the locality
(d) someone similar in character to one’s father
Ans: (d) a chip off the old block: a person who is very similar to their mother or father in the way they look or behave. She enjoys bossing people around just like her mother used to do – she’s a real chip off the old block The best option is someone similar in character to one’s father.

Q3. My father is undoubtedly an armchair critic.
(a) someone who gives advice based on theory not practice
(b) someone who gives advice based on practice not theory
(c) someone who gives advice based on experience
(d) someone who never gives advice
Ans: (a) an armchair critic: knowing about a subject through books and television, rather than by doing it for yourself. He is such an armchair critic; he has no experience in the subject but he is ready to give plenty of advice. The best option is someone who gives advice based on theory not practice

Q4. He was punished for taking French leave.
(a) being absent without permission
(b) leaving without intimation
(c) giving lame excuse
(d) resigning without giving notice
Ans:
(a) take French leave: to leave work without asking permission first. The caretaker had taken French leave. The best option is being absent without permission.

Q5. She paid a flying visit to Mumbai to see her ailing father.
(a) went by aeroplane
(b) a very long visit
(c) a very short visit
(d) a surprise visit
Ans: (c) a flying visit: a very short visit. He paid a flying visit to Paris. The best option is a very short visit

Q6. to take after
(a) to remove (b) to resemble
(c) to cheat (d) to write down
Ans: (b) to take after: to look or behave like an older member of your family. Your daughter doesn’t take after you at all. The best option is to resemble

Q7. have a finger in every pie
(a) to be greedy
(b) to be meddlesome
(c) to be efficient
(d) to be quarrelsome
Ans: (b) have a finger in every pie: to be involved in a lot of different activities and have influence over them ; interfering. You’ve to consult him; he has a finger in every pie. The best option is to be meddlesome

Q8. the jury is out
(a) No decision has been reached.
(b) A jury member is absent.
(c) The entire jury decides to stay out of the proceedings.
(d) The jury has taken a break between hearings.
Ans: (a) the jury is (still) out on something: used when you are saying that something is still not certain. we asked people to comment on the latest male fashions, but it seems the jury’s out. The best option is No decision has been reached.

Q9. Ramah was on cloud nine when she heard that she had won the lottery.
(a) frustrated (b) very happy
(c) shocked (d) confused
Ans: (b) on cloud nine: extremely happy. When I got my promotion, I was on cloud nine. The best option is very happy

Q10. My brother puts by a little money every month.
(a) saves
(b) loses
(c) gives away
(d) spends carefully
Ans: (a) put something by: to save money for a particular purpose. Look at the sentence: I am putting by part of my wages every week to buy a bike. The best option saves

Q11. I was in two minds whether to buy a new television or a new computer.
(a) to be firm
(b) to be undecided
(c) to take two decisions
(d) to lose one’s mind
Ans: (b) Be in two minds about something: to be unable to decide what you think about somebody/ something. I was in two minds whether or not to come this morning. The best option is to be undecided.

Q12. to call it a day
(a) put off work for another day
(b) the day was marvellous
(c) decide to finish working
(d) give the day a name
Ans:
(c) To call it a day = to decide or agree to stop doing something. After forty years in politics, I think it is time for me to call it a day. The best option decide to finish working.

Q13. to make up one’s mind.
(a) to decide what to do
(b) to remember things clearly
(c) to remind oneself of something
(d) to think creatively
Ans: (a) to make up one’s mind: to decide something. They are both beautiful, I can’t make up my mind. The best option to decide what to do

Q14. International monetary affairs are governed by the gnomes of Zurich.
(a) witchcraft of Zurich
(b) foreign leaders
(c) big international bankers
(d) guardians of treasure
Ans: (c) the gnomes of Zurich: a slang term for Swiss bankers The best option is big international bankers.

Q15. to put in a nut–shell.
(a) to be long and exhaustive about something
(b) to state something very concisely
(c) to place something
(d) to be blunt about something
Ans: (b) To put in a nutshell: to express something in a clear way using few words. To put it in a nutshell, we are bankrupt The best option is to state something very concisely.

Q16. Nowadays it has become a fashion to take French Leave.
(a) seeking permission from French Embassy
(b) saying goodbye in French style
(c) absenting oneself without permission
(d) taking leave to go to France
Ans:
(c) To take French Leave: to leave work without asking permission first. The best option is absenting oneself without permission

Q17. to be in a quandary
(a) to be in a confusing situation
(b) to be in an unenviable position
(c) to be on the alert
(d) to be in a commanding position
Ans: (a) to be in a quandary = the state of not being able to decide what to do in a difficult situation; in dilemma. He was in a quandary– should he go or shouldn’t he? The best option is to be in a confusing situation.

Q18. A false friend never hesitates to shed crocodile tears.
(a) to move from one place to another
(b) to show false happiness
(c) to feel disapointed
(d) to pretend to be sympathetic.
Ans: (d) shed crocodile tears: If somebody sheds crocodile tears, they pretend to be sad about something, but they are not really sad at all. Let’s have no more politicians shedding crocodile tears for the unemployed. The best option is to pretend to be sympathetic

Q19. take the bull by the horns is
(a) to be helpful
(b) to win the battle
(c) to be sensitive
(d) to face a difficulty courageously
Ans: (d) take the bull by the horns: to face a difficult or dangerous situation directly and with courage. Nora decided to take the bull by the horns and organize things for herself. The best option is to face a difficulty courageously.

Q20. sail in the same boat
(a) be in the same situation.
(b) suspect something uncanny.
(c) suspect something wrong.
(d) be in a different situation.
Ans: (a) sail in the same boat: to be in the same difficult situation. Paul was in the same boat as any other worker who has lost a job The best option is be in the same situation

Q21. He has made a dog’s breakfast of these accounts.
(a) a breakfast for the dogs.
(b) an accurate summary.
(c) a total mess.
(d) a breakfast being served by the dogs.
Ans: (c) a dog’s breakfast: a thing that has been done badly; mess. He’s made a real dog’s breakfast of these accounts. The best option is a total mess

Q22. a sacred cow
(a) a person never to be criticised
(b) a saintly person
(c) a helpful person
(d) a very religious person
Ans: (a) a sacred cow: a custom, system etc. that has existed for a long time that many people think should not be questioned or criticized. A university education is a sacred cow in their family. The best option is a person never to be criticised

Q23. You will be reminded of the seamy side of life if you visit the slum tenements.
(a) the unpleasant aspects
(b) the gentler aspects
(c) the softer aspects
(d) the pleasanter aspects
Ans: (a) seamy side: unpleasant and immoral ; sordid part The night club shows you the seamy side of the community. The best option is the unpleasant aspects

Q24. to shun evil company.
(a) to kick out.
(b) to let loose.
(c) to give up.
(d) to put off.
Ans: (c) to shun: to avoid He was advised to shun evil company. The best option is to give up.

Q25. Rohini reached the examination hall in the nick of time.
(a) just after time
(b) just in time
(c) very late
(d) just before time
Ans: (b) in the nick of time = at the very last moment; just in time before something bad happens. They escaped from the somkefilled house just in the nick of time. The best option is just in time.

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