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Part 306 – IDIOMS/PHRASES Previous Year Questions

Q1. To play fast and loose
(a) To be narrow minded
(b) To play a good game
(c) To act in an unreliable way
(d) To defeat a person
Ans: (c) To act in an unreliable way To play fast and loose = behave irresponsibly or immorally. Look at the sentence: I am not someone who plays fast and loose with other people’s lives.

Q2. Feather one’s own nest
(a) Decorate
(b) Work hard at home
(c) build a home
(d) make money in an improper way
Ans:
(d) make money in an improper way Feather one’s own nest = to make yourself rich especially in a way that is unfair or dishonest. Look at the sentence: You always try to feather your own nest first.

Q3. pull a fast one
(a) as fast as lightning
(b) play a trick
(c) carry a heavy burden
(d) take a deep breath
Ans: (b) play a trick Pull a fast one = to successfully deceive someone. Look at the sentence: You paid too muchI think he pulled a fast one on you.

Q4. grease the palm
(a) dirty one’s hands
(b) work in a garage
(c) slip and fall
(d) bribe
Ans: (d) bribe Grease the palm = to bribe someone. Look at the sentence: If you want to get something done around here, you have to grease someone’s palm.

Q5. turn turtle
(a) slow like a turtle
(b) turn like a turtle
(c) overturn
(d) a game turtles play
Ans:
(c) overturn Turn turtle = turn upsidedown. Look at the sentence: But en route at Chavara the ambulance met with an accident and turned turtle.

Q6. To carry the day
(a) To postpone to the next day
(b) To bear grudge
(c) To win a victory
(d) To do things in a hurry
Ans: (c) To win a victory To carry the day = to win a contest or competition; succeed; gain victory. Look at the sentence: It was the prosecutor’s closing arguments that carried the day with the jury.

Q7. A man of straw
(a) A weak man, without substance
(b) An unintelligent man
(c) A corrupt man
(d) A tall, lanky person
Ans: (a) A weak man, without substance A man of straw = someone who has a weak character; a man of no substance. Look at the sentence: He was accused by his opponents of being a man of straw and lacking in decisiveness.

Q8. Pass the buck
(a) Exchange
(b) Refuse to accept responsibility
(c) Make some quick money.
(d) Overtake
Ans:
(b) Refuse to accept responsibility Pass the buck = to blame someone or make them responsible for a problem that you should deal with. Look at the sentence: She is always trying to pass the buck and I am sick of it.

Q9. To lose ground
(a) Becoming less acceptable
(b) Being exploited
(c) Fully rejected
(d) Finding supporters
Ans: (a) Becoming less acceptable To lose ground = to become less popular or to be given less support. Look at the sentence: Do you agree that left wing politics are losing ground among the working classes?

Q10. Every dark cloud has a silver lining
(a) Every unpleasant situation has to wait
(b) Every unpleasant situation has a positive side
(c) Every dark cloud is upsetting
(d) Cloud with dark and silver lining is good
Ans: (b) Every unpleasant situation has a positive side Every dark cloud has a silver lining = Difficult times always lead to better days. Difficult times are like dark clouds that pass overhead and block the sun.

Q11. Alive and kicking
(a) Playing football
(b) Dying
(c) Becoming old
(d) in good health
Ans: (d) in good health Alive and kicking = prevalent and very active; alive, existing; active and in good health. Look at the sentence: You would be surprised how hard it is to keep certain patients alive and kicking.

Q12. In the following question, out of the four alternatives, select the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/ Phrase. Run out of steam
(a) To lose impetus or enthusiasm
(b) To work quickly like a machine
(c) To give up easily
(d) no more money to spend
Ans: (a) To lose impetus or enthusiasm Run out of steam = to suddenly lose the energy or interest to continue doing something Look at the sentence: The peace talks seem to have run out of steam.

Q13. In the following question, out of the four alternatives, select the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/ Phrase. saved by the bell
(a) when time is in your favour
(b) saved at the last moment
(c) the bell rings at the most opportune time
(d) prayers are answered when the church bell rings
Ans: (b) saved at the last moment Saved by the bell = saved by a last minute intervention Look at the sentence: She was drowning in the stream, but a boatman saved her by the bell.

Q14. In the following question, out of the four alternatives, select the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase. Turn a blind eye
(a) Not able to see the obvious truth
(b) Hide the ugly truth from someone
(c) Pretend not to notice
(d) Stay away from bad habits
Ans: (c) Pretened not to notice Turn a blind eye = overlook ; disregard ; neglect ; ignore Look at the sentence: Management often turns a blind eye to bullying in the workplace.

Q15. In the following question, out of the four alternatives, select the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase. Up a blind alley
(a) hiding something intentionally from another person
(b) not warning a person who is in danger
(c) one can enjoy thrills only if one takes risk
(d) following a course of action that is certain to lead to an undesirable outcome
Ans:
(d) Up a blind alley = following a course of action that is certain to lead to an undesirable outcome. Look at the sentence: I keep telling Gina to stop chasing after Rima. She’s just going up a blind alley

Q16. From stem to stern
(a) all the way from the front of a ship to the back.
(b) from the beginning to the end.
(c) top of a plant to its roots.
(d) loose pleasantness to become strict.
Ans: (a) From stem to stern = from the front to the back especially of a ship Look at the sentence: Surges of water rocked their boats from stem to stern

Q17. Over egg the pudding
(a) add unnecessary details to make something seem better or worse.
(b) fill the pudding excessively with egg.
(c) add details in order to make something more exciting.
(d) add important details to the content of a story.
Ans: (a) add unnecessary details to make better or worse. Over egg the pudding = to spoil something by trying too hard to improve it. Look at the sentence: As a director, I think he has a tendency to overegg the pudding, with a few too many gorgeous shots of the country side.

Q18. Turn over a new leaf
(a) change one’s behaviour for the better.
(b) read between the pages of a book.
(c) do a somersault
(d) do a new job.
Ans: (a) change one’s behaviour for the better Turn over a new leaf = start to act or or behave in a better or more responsible way; improve; to start behaving in a better way. Look at the sentence: Apparently he has turned over a new leaf and he is not smoking any more.

Q19. Take up the hatchet
(a) behave formally
(b) pursue a chance
(c) be caught in a trap
(d) prepare for or go to war
Ans: (d) prepare for or go to war Take up the hatchet = to make or declare war Look at the sentence: He induced the tribes to take up the hatchet against the English.

Q20. At loose ends
(a) tie two loose ends of a thread
(b) keep options open
(c) in an uncertain situation
(d) repay debts
Ans: (c) in an uncertain situation At a loose end = to have nothing to do At loose ends = not knowing what to do, especially because of an upsetting change. Look at the sentences: If you find yourself at loose ends, you could always clean the bathroom. I was at loose ends after finishing school and not being able to find a job.

Q21. With might and main
(a) with full risks
(b) with full force
(c) having full confidence
(d) with full blessings
Ans: (b) with full force With might and main = with all one’s power or strength; to the best of one’s ability; with as much effort as possible. Look at the sentence: They shouted with might and main but nobody came to rescue them.

Q22. Ruffle somebody’s feather
(a) gamble
(b) escape responsibility
(c) annoy somebody
(d) show contempt for
Ans: (c) annoy somebody Ruffle somebody’s feather = to cause someone to be upset. Look at the sentence: Mohan ruffled a few feathers when he suggested cutting the teacher’s salaries.

Q23. Cut short
(a) delete (b) praise
(c) interrupt
(d) slice into small pieces
Ans: (c) interrupt Cut short = to have to stop doing something before it is finished. Look at the sentence: Their conversation was cut short by the arrival of more guests.

Q24. Bad blood
(a) war (b) ill feeling
(c) threatening attitude
(d) in an infected state of being
Ans: (b) ill feeling Bad blood = feelings of hate between people because of arguments in the past. Look at the sentence: There has been bad blood between the two families for years.

Q25. A laughing stock
(a) an object of laughter
(b) a storehouse of jokes
(c) an object of desire
(d) a stock of high value
Ans:
(a) an object of laughter A laughing stock = someone or something that seems stupid or silly, especially by trying to be serious or important and not succeeding. Look at the sentence: Another performance like that and this team will be the laughing stock of the league. Spelling Mistakes

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