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Practice Questions: Idioms and Phrases - 1 | English for CLAT PDF Download

Directions: In this question you are required to choose the correct meaning of the idiom/phrase given in underline in the sentence.

Q1: He's turning into a bag of bones.
(a) An emaciated person
(b) A dead person
(c) A person about to die
(d) A bag full of bones
Ans:
(a)
Bag of bones (idiom):
an emaciated person or animal; weak and thin
It is used for a person or animal that is emaciated to the point where one can see bones protruding from the skin. (The skin is the figurative bag.)
It is a disparaging term for a very old person, especially one who has a frail appearance.
Ex: The old, abandoned dog looked like a bag of bones after living on the streets for so long. Poor Dave, he looked like a bag of bones when he was done with his cancer treatment.
Hence, option A is correct.

Q2: He cannot be allowed to ride roughshod over his colleagues with his ambitious plans.
(a) To give due respect to
(b) To surpass others
(c) To desert someone
(d) To act without caring
Ans: (d)
Ride roughshod over (idiom):
to act without caring about how you will effect someone or something.
to act in the way you want to, ignoring rules, traditions, or other people's wishes
This term alludes to the practice of arming horses with horseshoes mounted with projecting nails or points, which both gave them better traction and served as a weapon against fallen enemy soldiers. By 1800 it was being used figuratively for bullying behavior.
Ex: He was a bully and rode roughshod over his workers whenever he felt they weren't working hard enough. They accused the government of riding roughshod over parliamentary procedure.
Hence, option D is correct.

Q3: The cafes on the boulevard were doing a roaring trade.
(a) In the animal business
(b) Extremely poor
(c) Highly successful
(d) Shouting at others
Ans: (c)
do a roaring trade (idiom):
to sell a lot of goods very quickly
Meaning: to sell large quantities of something in a short period of time.
Ex: The toy department was doing a roaring trade in furry dinosaurs.
It was a hot sunny day and the ice cream sellers were doing a roaring trade.
Hence, option C is correct

Q4: The party was cut short when the police arrived.
(a) To break into pieces
(b) To be interrupted
(c) To be postponed
(d) To get worse
Ans: 
(b)
To cut someone short (idiom):

To stop before the end; to interrupt while someone’s speaking.
Meaning: To cut someone short is to stop someone from finishing what they wanted to say. To cut something short is to put an end to it prematurely.
Ex: I tried to explain, but he cut me short.
The thunderstorm cut short our picnic.
Hence, option B is correct

Q5: His second novel proved to be a flash in the pan.
(a) One that promises great success but fails
(b) A golden egg
(c) Something that brings success
(d) Bright and noticeable
Ans: 
(a)
A flash in the pan (idiom):
Someone or something whose success or popularity is short-lived
It can also be used for an effort or person that promises great success but fails.
Ex: We had high hopes for the new director, but she was a flash in the pan.
People had great expectations with Salman Khan's "Tubelight" but it flashed in the pan.
Hence, option A is correct.

Q6: In Galda, thousands of men and women had been put to the sword.
(a) To give weapons to someone
(b) To enlist someone in the military
(c) To kill someone
(d) To fight with someone
Ans: (c)
Put to the sword (idiom):
To kill, slay
If someone is put to the sword, he or she is killed or executed.
Ex: Thousands of innocents were put to the sword.
In Galda, thousands of men and women had been put to the sword.
Hence, option C is correct.

Q7: What with all those car repairs, we're going to be in the red this month.
(a) Very busy
(b) Making loss
(c) Working overtime
(d) Without a place to live
Ans: (b)
In the red (idiom):
Losing money; Being in debt
It's believed this phrase originates from the practice of using red ink to signify a financial loss.
Thus, a business that is "in the red," is a company that is losing money.
Ex: After the launch of Reliance Jio, all other Telecom companies are in the red.
Tourism is down and many hotels are operating in the red.
Hence, option B is correct.

Q8: Ever since leaving the company, he's been at loose ends.
(a) In an uncertain situation
(b) In trouble
(c) Very happy
(d) Poor
Ans: 
(a)
At loose ends OR at a loose end (idiom):
in an uncertain or unsettled situation or position
Meaning: Without a clear purpose or regular occupation; unsettled in one's affairs.
Ex: Jane couldn't find a job this year and so is at loose ends for the summer.
I hope he finds a job soon—he's been at loose ends ever since getting laid off.
Hence, option A is correct.

Q9: He tries not to ruffle feathers, and people seem to like to work with him.
(a) To appease someone
(b) To please someone
(c) To annoy someone
(d) To show a servile attitude
Ans: 
(c)
To ruffle someone’s feathers (idiom):
to irritate or annoy someone.
Meaning: If you ruffle someone's feathers, you do something to upset or annoy them.
It is based on the idea of a bird whose feathers are not smooth because of fear or excitement.
Ex: David ruffled a few feathers when he suggested cutting the teachers' salaries.
Ryan ruffles a lot of feathers by coming late to the office regularly.
Hence, option C is correct

Q10: We are waiting with bated breath for the release of the new version.
(a) Unable to breathe
(b) In anticipation
(c) Waiting patiently
(d) An impatient person
Ans: (b)
With bated breath (idiom):
Eagerly or anxiously or in anticipation.
If you wait for something with bated breath, you feel very excited or anxious while you are waiting.
Ex: People always wait with bated breath for Salman Khan's movies.
Riya is waiting with bated breath for her examination's result.
Hence, option B is correct.

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