Idioms and Phrases Exercises

Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the idiom/ phrase.

  1. To turn over a new leaf :

(a) To change completely one’s course of action
(b) To shift attention to new problems
(c) To cover up one’s faults by wearing new marks
(d) To change the old habits and adopt new ones

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  1. To wrangle over an ass’s shadow :

(a) To act in a foolish way
(b) To quarrel over trifles
(c) To waste time on petty things
(d) To do something funny

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  1. All agog :

(a) Everybody
(b) All ready
(c) Restless
(d) Almighty

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  1. To take with a grain of salt :

(a) To take with some reservation
(b) To take with total disbelief
(c) To take whole heartedly
(d) To take seriously

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  1. Hobson’s choice :

(a) Feeling of insecurity
(b) Accept or leave the other
(c) Feeling of strength
(d) Excellent choice

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  1. To talk through one’s hat :

(a) To speak fluently
(b) To talk nonsense
(c) To talk wisdom
(d) To speak at random

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  1. To snap one’s fingers :

(a) To speak abruptly
(b) To accept immediately
(c) To grasp eagerly
(d) To become contemptuous of

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  1. To take the bull by the horns :

(a) To punish a person severly for his arrogance
(b) To grapple courageously with difficulty that lies in our way
(c) To handle it by fierce attack
(d) To bypass the legal process and take action according to one’s own whims

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  1. To be in abeyance :

(a) To be in trouble
(b) Dual minded
(c) In a fighting mood
(d) Insuspense

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  1. To cast pearls before a swine :

(a) To spend recklessly
(b) To spend a lot of money on the unkeep of domestic hogs
(c) To waste monkey over trifles
(d) To offer to a person a thing which he cannot appreciate

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  1. To take people by storm :

(a) To put people in utter surprise
(b) To captivate them unexpectedly
(c) To exploit people’s agitation
(d) To bring out something sensational attracting people’s attention

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  1. Harp on :

(a) To comment
(b) To criticise
(c) To keep on talking
(d) To keep on insulting

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  1. To bring one’s eggs to a bad market :

(a) To face on humiliating situation
(b) To bring one’s commodities to a market where there is no demand for them
(c) To show one’s talents before audience which is incapable of appreciating them
(d) To fail in one’s plans because one goes to the wrong people for help

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  1. To give/get the bird :

(a) To get the awaited
(b) To have good luck
(c) To send away
(d) To get the impossible

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  1. To save one’s face :

(a) To hide oneself
(b) To oppose
(c) To avoid disgrace
(d) To say plainly

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  1. To split hours :

(a) To sidetrack the issue
(b) To quarrel over trifles
(c) To indulge in over-refined arguments
(d) To find faults with other

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  1. Will o’ the wisp :

(a) Anything which eludes or deceives
(b) To act in a childish way
(c) To act in a foolish way
(d) To have desires unbacked by efforts

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  1. To read between the lines :

(a) To concentrate
(b) To read carefully
(c) To suspect
(d) To grasp the hidden meaning

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  1. 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 subject
(d) To revive old memories

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  1. A tall order :

(a) A task difficult to perform
(b) A bid problem
(c) A royal summon
(d) A big demand

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