Idioms Interactive English Second Year Intermediate Study Material With Answers

12. Fill In Any Four blanks in the following sentences with suitable idiomatic expressions given below. Make necessary changes in the idioms if needed.[4x1m=4Marks]

1) once in a blue moon: happen very rarely.
Eg: He attends classes once in a blue moon.

2) an arm and a leg: very expensive.
Eg: It cost me an arm and a leg to study in the USA.

3) a piece of the cake: very easy.
Eg: Batting is a piece of cake for Virat these days.

4) a drop in the ocean: a tiny part of something much bigger
Eg: The small donation was just a drop in the ocean.

5) bite one’s tongue: want to say something but stop oneself.
Eg: Sitara wanted to speak out about the unfair decision. But she bit her tongue.

6) go the extra mile: doing much more than required.
Eg: My father always goes the extra mile to help the needy.

7) get ducks in a row: to get one’s affairs in order or organized.
Eg: I can’t hope to do well at my job until I get my ducks in a row.

8) let the cat out of the bag: reveal a secret accidentally.
Eg: Joel let the cat out of the bag about my surprise birthday party.

9) working against the clock: not having enough time to do something.
Eg: I am really working against the clock now. I must hurry.

10) flogging a dead horse: attempting to continue with something that is over .
Eg: we are flogging a dead horse. Our present business is making no money. So, let’s do something else.

11) on cloud nine: very happy.
Eg: Rahul is on cloud nine since he got a good job.

12) bolt from the blue: something happened unexpectedly.
The results of the recent polls were a bolt from the blue to many parties.

13) storm in a teacup: making unnecessary fuss/ getting excited about something unimportant.
Eg: There was a storm in a tea cup over who should be the Chief Guest on Hostel Day.

14) make hay while the sun shines : to take advantage of a good situation that may not last long.
Eg: Our boss is on vacation. Let’s make hay while the sun shines and relax.

15) beat black and blue: covered with bruise marks caused by being hit.
Eg: Kiran was beaten black and blue by the violent crowd.

16) fight an uphill battle: struggle against very unfavourable circumstances.
Eg: The Kings XI Punjab must fight an uphill battle to win the IPL title.

17) donkey’s years: a long time.
Eg: I have been teaching grammar for donkey’s years.

18) at the eleventh hour: at the last possible moment.
Eg: If you want to do your best, don’t do things at the eleventh hour.

19) bee in one’s bonnet: an idea that constantly occupies one’s thought.
Eg: Our English teacher has a bee in her bonnet about correct pronunciation.

20) cook someone’s goose: spoil someone’s plans or chances of success.
Eg: This year’s severe drought cooked Ramaiah’s goose.

21) feather in one’s cap: the achievement of which one can be proud of.
Eg: Bahubali’s success is a feather in Rajamouli’s cap.

22) rags to riches: start off being very poor and become very rich and successful.
Eg: Dhirubhai Ambani’s life is a story of rags to riches.

23) in the blink of an eye: happen fast and instantaneously.
Eg: The announcement of Intermediate results reached every corner in the blink of an eye.

24) in/ by leaps and bounds: make rapid or spectacular progress.
Eg: Our business flourished in leaps and bounds.

25) risk life and limb: in danger of death or severe injury.
Eg: Don’t risk your life and limb by participating in reality shows.

26) save one’s neck/skin: escape from death, punishment, etc., especially by
leaving others in an extremely difficult situation.
Eg: Satish got his friends into trouble to save his skin.

27) birds of a feather flock together: similar in many ways, so spend time together.
Eg: Arun and Varun are sports enthusiasts and are often found together. So,
our friends usually speak of them as birds of a feather (flock together).

28) keep at arm’s length: not to allow somebody to be friendly with you.
Eg: I always keep cheats at arm’s length.

29) bite off more than you can chew: try to manage something too difficult. 
Eg: Actor Shireesh bit off more than he could chew in his debut movie.

30) take the bull by the horns: act decisively to deal with a complex problem. 
Eg: I want to take the bull by the horns by deciding to swim across the river.

31) leave no stone unturned: try everything possible to achieve something.
Eg: President Kalam left no stone unturned to motivate the youth.

32)no spring chicken: one is quite old or well past one’s youth.
Eg: I am no spring chicken, you know. How can I dance?

33) beyond wildest dreams: better than you imagined for.
Eg: Last year’s rainfall was beyond our wildest dreams.

34) keep your nose to the grindstone: concentrate on working or studying hard (informal).
Eg: In the Intermediate class, my daughter has to keep her nose to the grindstone. No time for games or music.

35) paddle your own canoe: do something without the help of others
Eg: Sonu refused all help as he believed in paddling his own canoe.

36) have a bone to pick: annoyed with somebody and talk to them about it
Eg: Lakshmi has a bone to pick with Revati as she was not invited to the marriage.

37) give a tongue-lashing: scold someone severely. 
Eg: The teacher gave the lazy boy a tongue-lashing when he called Rani a lazy girl.

38) dressed up to the nines: wearing bright or glamorous clothes.
Eg: Actors often dress up to the nines for public functions.

39) make one’s ears burn: embarrassed by hearing something being said about you.
Eg: The discussion about my childhood pranks made my ears burn.

40) turn a deaf ear: refuse to listen to somebody.
Eg: Our boss turned a deaf ear to our request to change the meeting venue.

41) back to the salt mines: returning to work with some reluctance.
Eg: After the vacation, the students had to go back to the salt mines.

42) nuts and bolts: detailed facts and the practical aspects (informal).
Eg: Unless I get to know the nuts and bolts of the business, I can’t venture into it.

43) step into someone’s shoes: take over a job / a position held by someone before you.
Eg: When the manager retires, I’ll step into his shoes.

44) catch-22: a frustrating situation that will lead to further frustration.
Eg: In big cities, if you don’t have a place to live in, you can’t get a job, and with no job, you can’t get a place to live in! Thus, it’s a catch-22 situation.

45) at the drop of a hat: do it immediately without hesitation.
Eg: The wealthy socialite throws parties at the drop of a hat.

46) wild goose chase: a search for something that is impossible for you to or that does not exist, that makes you waste a lot of time
Eg: Without a proper address or phone number, it would be a wild chase to locate someone in Hyderabad.

47) taste your own medicine: have the same bad treatment that you have given to others
Eg: The evil-minded will taste their own medicine sooner or later.

48) blow one’s horn: to praise oneself; to boast. 
Eg: People avoid her as she constantly blows her horn.

49) burn the midnight oil: to work very late into the night.
Eg: I have to present this report by tomorrow. So, I must burn the midnight oil tonight.

50) thrilled to bits: extremely pleased about something.
Eg: I was thrilled to bits when I received a fancy gift.

51) a bed of roses: something which is easy.
Eg: Life is not always a bed of roses.

52) a white elephant: expensive but not that useful.
Eg: His new car has become a white elephant.

53) hit the nail on the head: say something correctly.
Eg: She hit the nail on the head with her response.

54) spill the beans: to reveal a secret.
Eg: They were afraid he would spill the beans.

55) hot cakes: fast selling.
Eg: The new model cars are selling like hot cakes.

56) face the music: accept unpleasant consequences
Eg: Having lost his character, he has to face the music.

57) judge a book by its cover: judge something primarily on appearance
Eg: You can’t judge a book by its cover. Just because he looks strange, that doesn’t mean he is not a nice person.

58) Achilles heel: a weak (vulnerable) spot
Eg: Math has always been my Achilles heel.

59) by a whisker: by a very small amount/margin
Eg: Finally, our team lost by a whisker and I was disappointed.

60) every cloud has a silver lining: every misfortune has some positive aspect
Eg: If we hadn’t missed the plane, we wouldn’t have met you. It is rightly said every cloud has a silver lining.

61) part and parcel: an essential or fundamental element
Eg: Don’t get disheartened at losing your form. It’s part and parcel of being a professional.

62) a thick skin: an ability to not be upset by criticism.
Eg: A politician needs a thick skin.

63) A sea change: a complete change in someone’s attitude or behavior
Eg: There is a sea change in the behavior of the culprit after his release from the prison.

64) in a nutshell: briefly; in essence.
Eg: Let me explain the proceedings in a nutshell.

65) get the nod: to receive permission from someone to start something
Eg: Rahul got the nod after a lengthy discussion among the members.

66) take the rap: to be blamed or punished, especially for something you have not done
Eg: She was prepared to take the rap for the shoplifting, though it had been her sister’s idea.

67) dark horse: one who is previously unknown and is now prominent
Eg: The Gujarat Titans have proved to be a dark horse in the recent IPL.

68) A hot potato: controversial and sensitive issue.
Eg: Racism is currently a hot potato in international cricket.

69) A square meal: a large, filling, nutritious meal.
Eg: The soldiers are very tired. They haven’t had a square meal for four days.

70) by fair means or foul: by any possible method.
Eg: They never gave up trying to recover their property by fair means or foul.

71) A labour of love: a task that you do for pleasure without expecting payment.
Eg: Preparing this book is clearly a labour of love.

72) keep the pot boiling: keep going on actively.
Eg: I threw in a question just to keep the pot boiling while my brain caught up.

73) tie the knot: to get married.
Eg: The couple tied the knot last year.

74) from top to bottom: very thoroughly.
Eg: I would clean my room from top to bottom every Sunday. 

Exercise 1. Fill in the blanks in the following sentences with suitable idiomatic expressions given below. Make necessary changes in the idioms if needed. [ Page 236]

Take the rap     in a nut shell     a sea change 

By a whisker    get the nod        a thick skin 

1] finally, our team lost by a whisker and I was disappointed .
2] A politician needs a thick skin .
3] There is a sea change in the behavior of the culprit after his release from prison .
4] Let me explain the proceeding in a nutshell.
5] Rahul get the nod after a lengthy discussion among the members 
6] She was prepared to take the rap for the shoplifting, though it has been her sister’s idea .

Exercise 2. Fill in the blanks in the following sentences with suitable idiomatic expressions given below. Make necessary changes in the idioms if needed. [ Page 237]

On cloud nine         tie the knot go          the extra mile 

A piece of cake       turn a deaf ear         hot cakes 

1] The new model cars are selling like hot cakes.
2] My father always go the extra mile to help the needy. 
3] Rahul is on cloud nine since he got a good job. 
4] Batting is a piece of cake for Virat these days.
5] The couple tie the knot last year.
6] Our boss turns a deaf ear to our request to change the meeting venue.

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