Idioms & Phrases - English (MCQ) for Bank, MBA, CAT, MAT, GMAT, SSC

1)   Choose the correct alternative which can be substituted for the below given word/ sentence.

To hold one's tongue

- Published on 04 May 16

a. to support
b. to interfere in one's work
c. to insult someone
d. to keep quite
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: to keep quite

Explanation:
The correct option is (d) to keep quite
Example in a sentence:
Finally to stop the argument, I held my tongue.


2)   Choose the appropriate meaning of the idiom/phrase

Caught between two stools

- Published on 22 Apr 16

a. met with an accident
b. difficulty in choosing between two alternatives
c. struck in a calamity
d. none of these
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: difficulty in choosing between two alternatives

Explanation:
'Caught between two stools' means finding it difficult to choose between two alternatives. OR To fail due to difficulty in choosing between two alternatives.
Example in a sentence:
He tries to be both mother and father of his daughter, but falls between two stools.


3)   Choose the appropriate meaning of the idiom:

Make up one's mind

- Published on 20 Apr 16

a. to be prepared
b. to make someone happy
c. make a decision
d. To criticize someone
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: make a decision

Explanation:
Make up one's mind - make a decision
Sentence:
She was not able to make up her mind in selecting a college.


4)   Choose the appropriate meaning of the phrase:

To read between the lines

- Published on 19 Apr 16

a. understand the hidden meaning
b. to have good sight
c. to learn quickly
d. none of these
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: understand the hidden meaning

Explanation:
The phrase 'To read between the lines' means to understand the hidden meaning.

Sentences:

1) Daniel isn't every good at reading between the lines.
2) The girl didn't say anything, but her mother could tell by reading between the lines that something is wrong.


5)   Select the most appropriate meaning of the given idiom/ phrase.

A man of straw

- Published on 15 Apr 16

a. a worthy fellow
b. a man of no substance
c. a very active man
d. a selfish person
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: a man of no substance

Explanation:
A man of straw means a person of no substance (weak person).

Example in a sentence: The slave was accused by his king of being a man of straw and lacking in decisiveness.


6)   Select the option which gives correct meaning of the given idiom/phrase.

To weather the storm

- Published on 13 Apr 16

a. survive a difficult situation
b. create difficulty for others
c. victim of crisis
d. unsuccessful attempt
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: survive a difficult situation

Explanation:
To weather a storm means to face a difficult situation or to survive a crises.

Example in a sentence: Marie lost her job, but somehow her family weathered the storm.


7)   In the sentence given below, replace the phrase underlined to make the sentence grammatically correct. If the sentence is correct as it is, mark (d) i.e. “No correction required” as the answer.

Whether I stay in Mumbai or Pune, it is all and one to me.

- Published on 13 Apr 16

a. all but one
b. all one
c. one and all
d. No correction required
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: all one

Explanation:
Correct form: Whether I stay in Mumbai or Pune, it is all one to me.
The phrase 'all one' is used to indicate that it is not important which of several alternatives are available or chosen.
Here, any choice i.e. Mumbai or Pune makes no difference to the person.
Example in a sentence: The priest said, “ Rich and poor are all one to me”.


8)   In the sentence given below, replace the phrase underlined to make the sentence grammatically correct. If the sentence is correct as it is, mark (e) i.e. “No error” as the answer.

1. She has been working off and on for several months to complete the project.

- Published on 07 Apr 16

a. regularly
b. on and off
c. on or off
d. on and of
e. No error
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: No error

Explanation:
'Off and on' and option (3) 'on and off' both mean 'occasionally and not continuously'. Hence, the given sentence is correct.
Of and off have different meanings and are to be used appropriately according to the situation. Of is usually used to show belongingness.
Example:
1) John ran off quickly to catch the bus.
2) A story of cats.


9)   In the following question, an idiom or proverb has been underlined. Choose its correct meaning in the given context from the alternatives given below.
Her fame spread far and wide because she was a talented singer.

- Published on 31 Mar 16

a. Her fame grew
b. Her fame lessened
c. Her fame ended
d. Her fame began
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Her fame grew

Explanation:
(a) is the right choice as the fame grows as a result of positive performances and talent.


10)   In the following question, an idiom or proverb has been highlighted. Choose its correct meaning in the given context from the alternatives given below.
She played a cat and mouse game with all her boyfriends.

- Published on 28 Mar 16

a. She played a game
b. She had a cat
c. Her boyfriends gave her cats and mice
d. She played like a cat with her boyfriends who were all mice
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: She played a game

Explanation:
Choice (a) is the most accurate. The idiom “ a cat and mouse game” means to play a trick or a low blow to someone.


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