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In English language, there are about 10 Lakh words and almost every word has some meaning. Most words carry more than one meaning. Again when used in combinations as a small group, words give altogether a new and different meaning. Such combinations of words are called IDIOMS AND PHRASAL VERBS. While a Phrasal Verb may have just a Verb plus a Preposition, an idiom may have a group of Nouns/Adjectives/Verbs/Prepositions. There are thousands of Idioms and Phrasal Verbs in English and in other languages. People often use them in English to make their speeches and writings rich and beautiful. A vocabulary of idioms and phrasal verbs is a sign of scholarship with which a person can impress people and be successful in his career. But avoid using too many idioms and phrasal verbs in your speech and writing. In Competitive exams, they are given to test your vocabulary and scholarship. Here are a few questions taken from some previous question papers for your practice.

Exercise - 1

Directions (Qs. 1 - 15): Select the meaning of the following idioms.
1. Kick the bucket
a) To win a deal     b) To throw a tantrum
c) To get angry      d) To die
Ans-d; ‘Kick the bucket’ means to die.


2. Feather one’s own nest
a) To enrich oneself
b) To prepare for a family
c) To beautify one’s house
d) To be greedy
Ans-a; ‘Feather your own nest’ means to take advantage of the opportunities to get a lot of money for yourself.


3. To go off the deep end
a) To be silent
b) To fall into further trouble
c) To be caught doing a wrong act
d) To give way to anger or emotion
Ans-d; ‘Go off the deep end’ means to give way immediately to an emotional outburst, especially of anger.


4. Call a spade a spade
a) To be rude
b) To speak bluntly
c) To force your views on others
d) To support a theory
Ans-b; ‘To call a spade a spade’ is to tell the truth about something, even if it is not polite or pleasant.


5. To sit on the fence
a) To shirk off responsibility
b) To become lazy
c) To do no work
d) To remain undecided
Ans-d; ‘To sit on the fence’ is to be unable to take a decision.


6. All Greek to me
a) Incomprehensible       b) Foreign
c) New to me       d) Difficult
Ans-a; ‘All Greek to me’ means something that one does not understand.


7. Cut to the chase
a) Run fast        b) Take part in the chase
c) Get to the point      d) Take a short cut
Ans-c; ‘Cut to the chase’ means to be specific and to the point.


8. Field day
a) A day of working in a field
b) A day of hard work
c) An enjoyable situation
d) An outdoor picnic
Ans-c; ‘Field day’ means an activity, or time spent in an activity, that is enjoyable and fun.


9. Gut feeling
a) Feeling hungry       b) Feeling unwell
c) Stomach ache         d) Intuition
Ans-d; To have a ‘gut feeling’ means to have a sense or a certain feeling about a person or a situation, without knowing the rational basis for such a feeling.


10. Give someone the slip
a) To fire someone
b) To cheat someone
c) To escape from someone
d) To hide from someone
Ans-c; To ‘give someone the slip’ means to run away from problems or from any difficult situations.


11. Have your back to the wall
a) To talk to someone again in order to give them some information
b) To have very serious problems that limit the ways in which you can act
c) To not allow people to know about your intentions that you have kept secret
d) To behave stubbornly or in a childlike manner
Ans-b; If you 'have your back to the wall', you are in serious difficulty.


12. Can of worms
a) A situation that causes a lot of problems for you when you start to deal with it
b) A sight or situation which brings the feeling of disgust or abhorrence
c) To accept blame or take responsibility for something that goes wrong
d) To begin to worry because of a problem that you weren't expecting.
Ans-a; To describe a situation as a 'can of worms' means that it is a situation that causes a lot of problems for you when you start to deal with it.


13. Half the battle
a) An important step towards achieving something
b) The slightest opportunity
c) Not as much as you want but better than nothing
d) Most important part of something
Ans-a; 'Half the battle' is used to refer to an important step towards achieving something.


14. Put the hard word on
a) To raise a topic of conversation
b) To make a mess of things
c) To adopt an aloof attitude
d) To ask a favour of someone
Ans-a; 'Put the hard word on' means to ask a favour of someone, especially a financial favour.


15. Be chilled to the marrow
a) To be completely shameless
b) To your innermost being
c) To be extremely cold
d) To vigorously engage in an argument
Ans-c; 'Be chilled to the marrow' means to be extremely cold.


Directions (Qs. 16 - 20): Select the idiom or phrase from the given alternatives that best completes the sentence.
16. It finally ................ him that she was the Principals daughter.
a) dawned on       b) came on
c) came to            d) took to
Ans-a; ‘Dawned on’ is the correct idiomatic usage in the sentence as ‘dawn on’ means to become suddenly clear to (a person).


17. Ritesh has started his own business and he has been ........ money since then.
a) raking in       b) making in
c) raking for     d) taking in
Ans-a; ‘Raking in’ is the correct idiomatic usage in the sentence as it means to earn large sums of money.


18. You are not in a good mood today; .......?
a) why aren’t you
b) what is happening to you
c) what’s eating you
d) what’s picking you
Ans-b; ‘What’s eating you’ is the correct phrase. It means what is worrying or annoying you?


19. Rahul came into the kitchen and made a ................ the cookies.
a) beeline for      b) beeline of
c) deck for          d) route at
Ans-a; ‘Beeline for’ is the correct phrasal usage as it means hurry directly to. The phrase, used in this context, describes the rush hour at the metro.


20. Her poems are definitely a .............. the poems of other competitors.
a) cut in       b) cut above
c) cut for      d) cut below
Ans-b; ‘Cut above somebody/something’ is the correct idiomatic usage as it means to be better than other people or things.


Directions (Qs. 21 - 25): In each of the following questions, the given sentence contains an idiom which has been underlined. From the given options, choose the one which gives the correct meaning of the idiom.
21. Even during the holidays I had my hands full.
a) was very busy       b) was extremely worried
c) was tired            d) carried heavy loads
Ans-a; ‘Have your hands full’ means to be very busy or too busy to do something else.


22. The long and the short of it is that it ended in a fiasco.
a) the outcome or result
b) the whole matter in brief
c) the multiple effects
d) the disastrous result
Ans-b; ‘The long and (the) short of it’ is used when you are telling somebody the essential facts about something or what effect it will have, without explaining all the details.


23. There's no doubt that stress can lead to physical illness.
a) begin a process         b) invite something
c) upheld something     d) attract something
Ans-a; ‘Lead up to’ means to make someone think something.


24. He cut a poor figure at the presentation ceremony.
a) spoke loudly
b) used indecent language
c) appear badly
d) was critical of the arrangement
Ans-c; ‘To cut a poor figure’ means to appear or behave badly.


25. The labour strike is only the tip of the iceberg.
a) indication of a big problem
b) biggest hurdle
c) cause of agitation
d) last problem
Ans-a; ‘The tip of the iceberg’ means only a small part of a much larger problem.


Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Directions (Q.No.1-10): In each of the following sentences there are two blanks spaces. Below each sentence there are five pairs of words denoted by numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Find out which pair of words can be filled up in the blanks in the same order to make the sentence meaningfully complete.
1. If you kindly bear ........... Ravi for some time, he shall ........... the whole issue.
1) out and show          2) with and clarify
3) for and open           4) in and close            5) from and clear


2. The account of the crime given by police was ........ and was ........
1) correct and documented            2) false and factual           3) narrated and doctored
4) recorded and revealed                5) balanced and imaginary 


3. When the agitating students turned ........, police opened fire to bring the ........ under control.
1) back and group           2) down and ground          3) peaceful and place
4) violent and situation             5) up and time


4. A ........ reader gets much greater joy from reading books than a close-fisted person in ........
1) new and sleeping            2) powerful and spending               3) fervent and hoarding
4) small and sharing                 5) regular and receiving


5. With large classes, it is difficult for teachers to ........ regular essay-type questions for homework because ........... long answers would take too much time.
1) write and erasing              2) give and evaluating                3) take and estimating
4) copy and encircling            5) impose and endorsing


6. Hari has a ........... sense of words.Therefore, the sentences he constructs are always ........... with rich meaning.
1) great and fraught               2) little and barren              3) less and limited      
4) no and round             5) bad and brimming


7. The present education system is ........... and needs ...........
1) complete and improvement             2) full and betterment
3) defective and reforming           4) total and redressal            5) inadequate and recharging


8. Punishment is ........... and ........... a lot of wrong doings
1) a gift and helps              2) a god-send and creates             3) a deterrent and prevents  
4) a door stopper and laces            5) a wage and wipes


9. Pradeep was ........... for the crime of ...........
1) honored and eve teasing             2) fined and drunken driving
3) detained and directing a film            4) fired and incurring heavy losses
5) denounced and employing a child


10. The ........... manners of the new bride won for her the ........... of one and all.
1) good and  praise         2) old and hearts           3) new and affection
4) crude and recognition           5) refined and wrath


11. The account of the big bank heist given by the bank manager was ........... and was ....
1) correct and documented            2) false and factual           3) narrating and doctoring
4) recorded and revealed            5) balancing and imaginary


12. An ........... reader gets much greater joy from reading books than a close-fisted person in ...........
1) new and sleeping          2) powerful and spending
3) avid and hoarding         4) agitating and sharing         5) angry and receiving


13. With large classes, it is difficult for the examiners to ........... regular essay-type questions for homework because ........... long answers would take too much time.
1) write and erasing          2) set and evaluating           3) take and estimating
4) copy and encircling            5) impose and endorsing


14. Mary has a ........... sense of words. Therefore, the sentences she constructs are always full of ........... meaning.
1) great and profound           2) little and barren             3) less and limited      
4) no and round               5) bad and brimming

Directions (Q.No. 15-39): There is a blank in each of the five sentences. Fill in the blank with a suitable idiom and phrasal verb choosing from the options given below each question.

15. Besides watching movies on T V Madhavi goes to the theatre ........... to see Telugu movies  
1) once in a blue moon              2) once in a donkey's year
3) once upon a time             4) once in four years             5) once in five years


16. My father-in- law ........... in hospital yesterday after a brief illness
1) kicked the ball         2) footed the bill            3) breathed his last    
4) breathed his first           5) kicked off


17. As Meena is very kind and she helps one and all, her friends often call her ...........
1) a miser          2) a smart Alec          3) a good Samaritan
4) a man Friday          5) a man of few words


18. Maintaining the big and pristine mansion has become ........... for Raju  
1) a dark horse         2) a white elephant           3) a black sheep      
4) a lame duck              5) a sitting duck


19. When Ramu found a costly laptop on the road, he immediately rushed to a near by police station to ........... the item to them.  
1) turn in         2) turn off          3) turn down          4) turn up        5) turn around


20. Vasu is a moody person  and he often ........... with friends.
1) blows his own trumpet              2) blows hot and cold            3) holds a candle to devil
4) quotes from scripture             5) beats around the bush


21. Close friends always talk ...........
1) over the head          2) heart to heart            3) in the ear
4) in the face              5) in the eyes


22. My mother is a great host and she always receives her guests with ...........
1) open hands             2) open mind            3) closed fist            4) closed doors         5) open mouth


23. Most agriculture workers work in their fields ...........
1) from evening to night             2) from Sunday to Saturday              3) from dawn to dusk
4) from dusk to dawn           5) from day to day


24. After a month long voyage, our ship at last ........... at Mumbai
1) cast a shadow         2) cast anchor         3) cast an eye
4) cast a role            5) cast a hand


25. After a fight with the host, some members left the party ...........
1) in a bad mood         2) in a good mood          3) in a huff        4) in a jiffy         5) in a bind


26. Mohan is a great painter and he can paint any portraits ...........
1) to an eye        2) to a nose        3) to a hair      4) to a hilt        5) to a hand


27. After loosing her husband in a ghastly car accident, my aunt is ........... 
1) out of her mind          2) out of her house         3) out of touch
4) out of town            5) out of party


28. Sharing of river water is always a ........... between our States.
1) matter of joy           2) bone of contention           3) matter of pride    
4) dead horse             5) sitting duck


29. In our factory we are using some ........ technology these days.
1) old             2) own        3) edge cutting          4) cutting edge            5) state art


30. What did you say? You like me, please ...........
1) go again          2) went again         3) come again           4) make again        5) came again


31. We don't know what happens to our team in the final match, but we keep our ...........  
1) eyes crossed          2) star crossed            3) fingers crossed         4) legs crossed         5) path crossed


32. The life of a soldier at the borders is not a ..........
1) bed of roses               2) bed of lilies           3) bed of tulips  
4) bed of cowlips           5) bed of grass


33. This is a competitive world and to be successful in life, youngsters have to ...........
1) keep ears to the ground              2) keep feet on the ground
3) keep all eggs in one basket            4) keep good hours          5) keep words.


34. It is getting late and you may miss the train. Please shake ...........
1) a leg           2) a hand         3) a tree        4) the sky        5) the earth


35. Good habits and exercise generally keep a person ...........
1) in the dark          2) in the firing line            3) in the pink
4) in the red          5) in the black


36. In our politics, the opposition leaders seldom see ...........  with the government on many issues.
1) eye to eye          2) tooth for tooth           3) horns locked            
4) green in eyes          5) wet behind  the ears


37. Since the success of her first film, this heroine is ...........
1) in the swamp          2) in the quick sand         3) in the limelight         4) in debts          5) in news


38. Even after becoming very successful and popular, my father is humble and cool as........
1) a cucumber        2) a pumpkin       3) a stone           4) a tree           5) a pot


39. In the Pakistan jet crash, three passengers escaped death by the skin of ........
1) their head           2) their nose          3) their ear            4) their teeth           5) their foot


KEY: 1-2; 2-1; 3-4;  4-3;  5-2;  6-1;  7-3;  8-3;  9-2; 10-1; 11-1; 12-3; 13-2; 14-1; 15-1; 16-3; 17-3; 18-2; 19-1; 20-2;  21-2;  22-1;  23-3;  24-2;  25-3; 26-3;  27-1;  28-2; 29-4; 30-3;  31-3;  32-4;  33-1; 34-1; 35-3;  36-1;  37-3;  38-1; 39-4.

Phrase Replacement

Directions (Qs. 1 - 15): In each of the following questions, a part of the sentence is underlined. Choose the grammatically correct option that can replace the underlined part. If no correction is required, the choose option 'd' as the answer.

1. Everybody among the guests were enjoying their drink when the theft took place.
a) was enjoying his or her drink when the theft took place.
b) was enjoying their drink when the theft took place.
c) were enjoying his or her drink when the theft took place. d) No correction required 


2. Americans are accustomed drinking coffee with their meals.
a) accustomed at drinking coffee with their meals.
b) accustomed in drinking coffee with their meals.
c) accustomed to drinking coffee with their meals.
d) No correction required


3. The fact that he was uninterested in politics was clear from the way he shunned political news.
a) The fact that he being disinterested in politics
b) The fact that he was disinterested in politics
c) The fact that he was disinterested about politics
d) No correction required


4. After every student had turned in their paper, the teacher dismissed the class.
a) After every student had turned in his or her paper,
b) After every student had turned in one’s paper,
c) After every student had turned in your paper,
d) No correction required


5. The baby fell and hurt his leg.
a) and hurt it’s leg.        b) and hurt its leg.
c) and hurt herself.         d) No correction required


6. Thieves broke in his house yesterday.
a) inside his house yesterday.          b) into his house yesterday.
c) house yesterday.             d) No correction required


7. The tiger sprang into the goat.
a) with the goat.        b) in the goat.
c) upon the goat.      d) No correction required


8. There are four assistants beside the head of the department.
a) are four assistants besides
b) was four assistants beside
c) is four assistants beside
d) No correction required


9. An average person has approximately 1,00,000 hairs.
a) have approximately 1,00,000 hairs.
b) have approximately 1,00,000 hair.
c) has approximately 1,00,000 hair.
d) No correction required


10. What else can you expected if you go on a late-night outing?
a) can you expect if you goes
b) could you expected if you go
c) can you expect if you go
d) No correction required


11. The major reasons students give for failing to participate in the political process is that they have demanding assignments and work at part-time jobs.
a) are demanding assignments and they work at
b) are that they have demanding assignments and that they have
c) is having demanding assignments and having
d) No correction required

12. Many people are alarmed by the recent TADA Court ruling that gives judges discretionary powers to determine about closing trials to the public.
a) whether he or she ought to close trials
b) if he or she should close trials
c) whether or not trials should be closed
d) No correction required


13. Separated by the sea from any major population centre, the people of Antarctica have developed a unique culture.
a) have developed into a very unique culture.
b) have a unique development, their culture.
c) had developed their culture uniquely.
d) No correction required


14. Neither she nor her plight were any longer amusing.
a) Neither her nor her plight were any longer amusing.
b) Neither she or her plight was any longer amusing.
c) Neither she nor her plight was any longer amusing.
d) No correction required


15. Opening a bag, it was seen by Ram that a cat jumped out instead of a hare.
a) Ram saw that on opening a bag a cat jumped out instead of a hare.
b) A bag being opened by Ram, a cat jumped out instead of a hare.
c) On opening a bag, Ram saw a cat jump out of it instead of a hare.
d) No correction required


Key With Explanations

1-a; According to subject-verb agreement, a singular subject takes a singular verb, while a plural subject takes a plural verb. ‘Everybody’ is a singular subject and should be followed by a verb in the singular form. Hence, the correct usage is: “Everybody …… was enjoying his or her …… place.” Hence, option (a) is the correct answer.

2-c; The preposition ‘to’ should follow ‘accustomed’. So, the correct usage is: “Americans ……. accustomed to ….. meals”. Hence, option (c) is the correct answer.

3-b; Option (a) is grammatically incorrect. The correct way of writing the sentence is ‘... he was disinterested...’ Option (d) is incorrect because the correct usage is ‘disinterested in’ and not ‘disinterested about’. Hence, option (b) is correct.

4-a; ‘Every student’ is a singular subject, so, the correct pronoun to be used in the given case will also be singular (his or her) and not ‘their’. Hence, option (a) is correct.

5-b; In case the gender is not specific, we use the possessive pronoun ‘its’. Therefore, the correct answer is given in option (b). Option (a) uses ‘it's’ which means ‘it is’. And options (c) and (d) are incorrect because gender is not specified in the given sentence. Hence, option (b) is the correct answer.

6-b; ‘Break in’ is an intransitive verb and it has no direct object and ‘break into’ is transitive verb and we should specifically what was broken into. The correct sentence should be: thieves broke into his house yesterday. Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.

7-c; The right preposition to be used here is ‘upon’. ‘Sprang’ means a leap or sudden movement; to jump. Options (a), (b) and (d) are logically incorrect. 'Into' as a preposition means to or towards the inside of something. Hence, option (c) is correct.

8-a; ‘Besides’ means in addition to and ‘beside’ means ‘at the side of’. Hence, the correct usage is: “There are ……. besides …... department”. Also, the plural form ‘are’ should be used because ‘assistants’ is plural. Hence, option (a) is the correct answer.

9-d; ‘An average person’ is singular and will take the singular verb ‘has’. So, options (a) and (b) are negated. ‘Hair’ is used when we refer to it as a whole. ‘Hairs’ is used when we can count them. In the given case, ‘hair’ is used as a count noun. So, the sentence is correct in its given form.

10-c; Option (a) is incorrect because ‘you’ is never used with the verb ‘goes’. The correct way of writing the sentence is ‘... if you go ...’ Option (b) is grammatically incorrect. The correct way of writing the sentence is “what else can you expect if...” Hence, option (c) is the correct choice.

11-b; We are talking about more than one reason, so, the plural form of the verb should be used. Also, you do not work ‘at’ a part-time job. You ‘have’ a part-time job. Hence, option (b) is the correct answer.

12-c; Option (d), 'about closing trials' is grammatically incorrect. 'Whether' as a conjunction is the correct usage to indicate choices or possibilities. However, option (a) is incorrect because 'judges' is plural and can not take the singular pronouns 'he or she'. Similarly, option (b) is incorrect. Thus, option (c) is the correct answer.

13-d; The given sentence is absolutely correct and need not be changed. Hence, option (d) is the correct answer.

14-c; As per the rule, when using ‘neither ... nor’ in a sentence, if both elements are singular, then the verb is singular too. For example: neither Sita nor Gita is going to write the letter. In the given context, the correct sentence should be: neither she nor her plight was any longer amusing. Hence, option (c) is the correct answer.

15-c; ‘On opening a bag’ is a modifier which is referring to the subject ‘Ram’. So, it has to be placed immediately after it. Hence, option (c) is the correct answer. 

Posted Date : 13-01-2022


గమనిక : ప్రతిభ.ఈనాడు.నెట్‌లో కనిపించే వ్యాపార ప్రకటనలు వివిధ దేశాల్లోని వ్యాపారులు, సంస్థల నుంచి వస్తాయి. మరి కొన్ని ప్రకటనలు పాఠకుల అభిరుచి మేరకు కృత్రిమ మేధస్సు సాంకేతికత సాయంతో ప్రదర్శితమవుతుంటాయి. ఆ ప్రకటనల్లోని ఉత్పత్తులను లేదా సేవలను పాఠకులు స్వయంగా విచారించుకొని, జాగ్రత్తగా పరిశీలించి కొనుక్కోవాలి లేదా వినియోగించుకోవాలి. వాటి నాణ్యత లేదా లోపాలతో ఈనాడు యాజమాన్యానికి ఎలాంటి సంబంధం లేదు. ఈ విషయంలో ఉత్తర ప్రత్యుత్తరాలకు, ఈ-మెయిల్స్ కి, ఇంకా ఇతర రూపాల్లో సమాచార మార్పిడికి తావు లేదు. ఫిర్యాదులు స్వీకరించడం కుదరదు. పాఠకులు గమనించి, సహకరించాలని మనవి.


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