Saturday, 19 July 2014


                                                                                                                    (continued from last post)
An Idiom or idiomatic expression is a form of expression of words in their peculiar form as prevalent in a language.The words used have different meanings to their  literal meanings. An idiom has its metaphorical rather than literal meaning. The use of words in an idiom is fixed.These idioms undergo changes with the passage of time. 

The usage of idioms enhance the beauty of a language and give richness to it. Idioms usually  comprise of a few words but these words have their own meanings different from their literal meanings. Just as  the meaning of put is d   ifferent from when some words are added  to it as --Put up, Put out , Put off  or To put up for a rainy day etc. These words are to be used as they are and these cannot be changed at all. The grammatical use of these words is fixed.For example  He has his own axe to grind cannot be changed to ground his axe or some other form. Idioms have their meanings in metaphorical sense rather than literal one. 

Idioms add richness to a language but their correct and appropriate use is necessary. Further to list of idioms with their meanings and usage in previous post, here are examples of questions  generally asked in this respect in examination question papers.


In the following question is given an idiom or idiomatic expression followed by four options of its meaning. Out of the given options choose one that expresses the meaning best. In case there is none of these choose the Sr. no. 5.

1. Point blank

1. To be confused   2. to blame someone 3. To say in plain words 4. to forget  5. N.O.T.

2. Beside oneself

1. Near someone 2. to call someone  3. to be overpowered by 4. obsessed with 5. N.O.T.

3. Hang in the balance

1. To take measurements 2. To share with someone 3. To be undecided 4. to show off 5.N.O.T.

4. To nip in the bud

1. a good start 2. a bad start 3. to control in the beginning 4. to allow to progress 5. N.O.T.

5. Under fire

1. to catch fire 2. to be very popular 3. to face criticism 4. in hearth  5. N.O.T.

6. Wet blanket

1. to face a problem 2. to show indifference 3. a person who spoils fun 4.a useful thing 5.N.O.T.

7. Above board

1. in a sea ship  2. in a voyage 3. beyond any doubt 4. Not so popular 5. N.O.T.

8. At loggers' heads

1. to be friends 2. to take revenge 3. to disagree or dispute 4. to be helpful 5. N.O.T.

9. Go to dogs

1. to go mad 2. to be a pauper 3. to be ruined 4. to lose heart  5. N.O.T.

10. Make good

1. to benefit someone  2. to earn enough money 3. to compensate loss 4. to be helpful 5. N.O.T.

( Answer : 1 to 10 - 3. )


In the following question is given a statement which contains an idiom or idiomatic expression written in italics. It is followed by four options of meaning of the italicized portion. Out of the given options choose one that expresses the meaning best. In case there is none of these choose the Sr. no. 5.

1. The final round of talks between authorities and representatives of employees is in progress. An agreement between the two sides appears to be round the corner.

1. appears impossible 2, difficult to reach 3. nearer  to be finalised 4. doubtful 5. None Of These.

2. He is very distressed and depressed these days because of demise of his son in the prime of
 his life.

1. at the end of 2. in the beginning 3. at a young age 4. on completion of  5. N.O.T.

3. The preparations of his son's marriage are going on in full swing.

1. very slow 2. very fast 3. in good speed 4. collectively 5. N.O.T.

4. In the world of today no nation or an individual can plough a lonely furrow.

1. remain indifferent 2. do not help others 3. remain isolated 4. command order  5, N.O.T.

5. As the negotiations are going on it appears that an agreement between the two nations is in the offing. 

1. in the air 2. at the end 3. about to happen 4. to be doubtful 5. N.O.T.

6. It appears that riches have turned the head of the merchant.

1. change decision 2. to feel dizzy 3. to be arrogant 4. to make sad 5. N.O.T.

7. His friends are in the habit of putting a spoke in his wheel.

1. to cooperate 2. to make popular 3. to create hindrance 4. to give money 5. N.O.T.

8. You need not worry about anything we all are always at your beck and call.

1. on speaking terms  2 to help  3. at one's disposal 4. to give moral support 

9. A man having no control over his passions is, to all intents and purposes a beast.

1. deliberately 2. with no feelings 3. in practical terms 4. nearly almost  5. N.O.T.

10. Now a days our uncle's visits to our house are few and far  between.

1. Very frequent 2. not so important 3. very rare 4. to come to an end 5. N.O.T.

( Answer : 1 to 10 - 3. )


In the following sentences there is a blank space which can be filled with an idiom or idiomatic expression. Choose out of the given options one that suits the most to be filled in the blank. In case there is none of these choose the Sr. no. 5.

1. After taking a little rest for a few hours in the tavern, the travellers................on their onward journey to their final destination.

1. set in 2. set about 3. set out 4. set up 5. None of these.

2. The boss on returning from his week  long tour find all the things lying in his office at sixes and sevens.

1. taken in 2. taken for 3. taken aback 4. taken after 5. N.O.T.

3. All the visitors have been waiting for the chief guest for the last two hours but he has far.

1. turned on 2. turned down 3. turned up 4. turned out 5. N.O.T.

4. His parents advised him to ...................some money for his future needs but he did not pay any heed to their advice.

1. Put up 2. Put up with 3. Put by 4. Put out 5. N.O.T.

5. All the persons standing there made after the thief but he managed to ...............with the necklace of the lady.

1. make up  2. make over 3. make off 4. make out 5. N.O.T.

Answers : 1 to 5  ---3.

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