Idioms (100 idioms)

IDIOMS – Set 1

 Choose the correct meaning for each idiom.

 1       catch somebody in the act

A      A situation where someone is trying to do a lot of different things at one same time.

B       To see someone doing something, usually something wrong


         Answer :  B


2       actions speak louder than words

A      What you do is more important than what you say

B       To do something in a more organised and effective way than before


         Answer :  A


3       be alive and kicking (of a person)

A      Still healthy and active

B       Laughing a lot while watching or hearing something


         Answer :  A


4       be the apple of somebody’s eye

A      To be loved very much by someone

B       Someone who has a bad effect on others in a group


         Answer :  A


5       be up in arms

A      To show that you are very happy to see or greet someone

B       To protest angrily


         Answer :  B


6       give yourself a pat on the back

A      Pleased that someone or something is going away

B       To feel pleased with yourself because you have done something well


         Answer :  B


7       bag of tricks

A      Special skills and methods someone uses in their work

B       To do something unexpected that helps you solve a problem


         Answer :  A


8       a wet blanket

A      To make someone angry and ready to fight

B       Someone who spoils other people’s fun


         Answer :  B


9       sweat blood

A      To work extremely hard

B       To be very determined to punish or defeat someone


         Answer :  A


10     have butterflies in your stomach

A      To be very determined about doing something

B       To feel very nervous before doing something


         Answer :  B


 IDIOMS – Set 2

Choose the correct meaning for each idiom.

1       a close call

A      An event that makes people realise that a situation is very bad

B       A situation in which something bad nearly happened


         Answer :  B


2       burn the candle at both ends

A      Be extremely busy

B       Be working secretly together with someone


         Answer :  A


3       let the cat out of the bag

A      To cause trouble in a group

B       To let people know something secret


         Answer :  B


4       a wild goose chase

A      To move on to the most important part of something

B       A long time searching for something without finding it


         Answer :  B


5       be on cloud nine

A      To be extremely happy

B       Every bad situation has some good points


         Answer :  A


6       cream of the crop

A      Someone or something that is the best of its kind

B       Someone who always does something in the same way


         Answer :  A


7       off the cuff

A      Something you do not like very much

B       Without preparing what you are going to say


         Answer :  B


8       look daggers at someone

A      To look at someone very angrily

B       To dress and look neat and tidy


         Answer :  A


9       call it a day

A      To decide to stop doing something

B       To win an argument or competition


         Answer :  A


10     get a raw deal

A      It doesn’t matter

B       To be treated unfairly


         Answer :  B


 IDIOMS – Set 3

Choose the correct meaning for each idiom.

 1       be down in the dumps

A      To feel very sad

B       To fail in doing something


         Answer :  A


2       go Dutch with someone

A      To share the cost of something with someone

B       To annoy someone a lot


         Answer :  A


3       goes in one ear and out the other

A      To have a big smile on your face

B       When you tell someone something, they do not listen or remember it


         Answer :  B


4       put all your eggs in one basket

A      Something partly good and partly bad

B       To depend completely on one thing or action


         Answer :  B


5       a white elephant

A      Something that is useless but expensive

B       A situation where progress is no longer possible


         Answer :  A


6       at your wit’s end

A      Very worried, not knowing how to solve a problem

B       To suddenly become very angry and upset


         Answer :  A


7       make ends meet

A      To have just enough money to buy what you need

B       To have to start doing a difficult job without being prepared for it


         Answer :  A


8       not see eye to eye

A      To hurt someone the same way they hurt you

B       To disagree


         Answer :  B


9       turn a blind eye to something

A      To notice carefully what is happening around you

B       To ignore something


         Answer :  B


10     fall flat on your face

A      To fail, often in an embarrassing way

B       To be embarrassed or to lose people’s respect


         Answer :  A


IDIOMS – Set 4

 Choose the correct meaning for each idiom.

 1       keep a straight face

A      To cause a lot of trouble suddenly

B       To continue to look serious even though you want to laugh


         Answer :  B


2       a long face

A      A sad or disappointed expression on your face

B       Someone who is intelligent or good at his job


         Answer :  A


3       chew the fat

A      To talk in a friendly and relaxed way

B       To have a comfortable life while others are poor


         Answer :  A


4       curry favour with someone

A      To frighten someone

B       To try to make someone like you by praising them


         Answer :  B


5       a feather in your cap

A      Something to be proud of

B       Something that is very difficult to achieve


         Answer :  A


6       no hard feelings

A      The feeling that you get when you realise suddenly that something unpleasant has happened

B       I am not angry with you and hope you are not angry with me


         Answer :  B


7       drag your feet

A      Extremely tired

B       To take too much time doing something


         Answer :  B


 8       get cold feet

A      To want to travel or to change your job

B       To feel afraid to do something that you have planned


         Answer :  B


9       sit on the fence

A      To refuse to give a definite answer or opinion

B       To make someone tired by making them walk a long way


         Answer :  A


10     fit as a fiddle

A      To be completely healthy

B       To continue fighting until someone wins


            Answer :  A


IDIOMS – Set 5

Choose the correct meaning for each idiom.

 1       finders keepers, losers weepers

A      You should return what you find

B       If you find something, you can keep it


         Answer :  B


2       have green fingers

A      To be able to grow plants successfully

B       To work extremely hard


         Answer :  A


3       playing with fire

A      To make someone work harder

B       Taking unnecessary risks


         Answer :  B


4       like a fish out of water

A      To have other more important things to do

B       Feeling uncomfortable because you are in a situation that does not suit you


         Answer :  B


5       go up in flames

A      To be completely destroyed by fire

B       To do something that makes a bad situation worse


         Answer :  A


6       a flash in the pan

A      Popular or successful for only a short time

B       To show that you accept defeat


         Answer :  A


7       go with the flow

A      To continue smoothly without stopping

B       To accept new situations without worrying too much or trying to control the situations


         Answer :  B



8       food for thought

A      Very confused and unable to think clearly

B       Something that makes you think carefully


         Answer :  B


9       put your foot down

A      To refuse to allow something to happen

B       To say something embarrassing by mistake


         Answer :  A


10     have a frog in your throat

A      To have difficulty in speaking because your throat is blocked for a moment

B       To have a very bad sore throat that causes you to lose your voice


            Answer :  A

IDIOMS – Set 6

Choose the correct meaning for each idiom.


1       bear fruit

A      Something that is attractive because you are not allowed to have it

B       To produce the good results that you wanted


         Answer :  B


2       add fuel to the fire

A      To do something that makes a bad situation much worse

B       To make a joke about someone in an unkind way


         Answer :  A


3       somebody has a short fuse

A      Someone that other people hardly notice

B       Someone becomes angry very easily and quickly


         Answer :  B


4       run the gamut

A      To talk or behave in a way that is not direct, honest or serious

B       To include everything of a particular type of thing


         Answer :  B


5       gift of the gab

A      The ability to talk a lot or with great effect

B       To get what you deserve for doing something bad


         Answer :  A


6       when the going gets tough

A      When a situation becomes difficult

B       When you accept the fact that you will lose


         Answer :  A


7       up for grabs

A      To be available to anyone

B       To be in a situation where a lot of people know about your life


         Answer :  A


8       sour grapes

A      To be very different from your natural behaviour

B       A bad attitude that makes someone criticise something because they want it but cannot have it


         Answer :  B


9       the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence

A      Something else always seems better than what you have

B       Something from which many people can make money


         Answer :  A


 10     not let the grass grow under your feet

A      To waste no time

B       To take control of yourself


         Answer :  A


 IDIOMS – Set 7

 Choose the correct meaning for each idiom.

1       stand your ground

A      To change your views or opinion

B       To refuse to change your opinion


         Answer :  B


2       be on your guard

A      To pay careful attention to what is happening

B       To force someone to do something


         Answer :  A


3       let your hair down

A      To enjoy and relax, especially after working hard

B       To be very angry and frustrated


         Answer :  A


4       grind to a halt

A      To stop working gradually

B       To repeat something until someone understands it


         Answer :  A


5       go hand in hand

A      To help someone in an unfamiliar situation

B       Two things are closely related and often appear together


         Answer :  B


6       bury the hatchet

A      To keep something a secret

B       To agree to stop arguing


         Answer :  B


7       make hay while the sun shines

A      To take the opportunity to do something now

B       To manage to deal with all your problems


         Answer :  A


8       be head and shoulders above

A      To be much better than

B       To stay calm and reasonable


         Answer :  A


9       lose heart

A      To tell someone everything that you are feeling

B       Wanting to stop because you think you will not succeed


         Answer :  B


10     a red herring

A      Information mentioned deliberately to turn attention from the real problem

B       Something or someone that is finished and no longer important or active


         Answer :  A


 IDIOMS – Set 8

 Choose the correct meaning for each idiom.

 1       by hook or by crook

A      To get control over someone

B       Using whatever methods you can


         Answer :  B


2       the eleventh hour

A      The latest possible time you can do something

B       The most important, most successful and best time in someone’s life


         Answer :  A


3       break the ice

A      To do something that makes people relax when they have just met

B       To be taking a risk


         Answer :  A


4       icing on the cake

A      To look exactly like someone else

B       Something that makes a good situation even better


         Answer :  B



5       strike while the iron is hot

A      To force someone to make a decision or take action

B       To take an opportunity at a time when you are likely to succeed


         Answer :  B


6       turn to jelly

A      To feel very weak

B       To fail to do the work you are supposed to do


         Answer :  A


7       concrete jungle

A      An area of unpleasant and ugly concrete buildings in a city

B       A jungle-like structure made of concrete


         Answer :  A


8       go under the knife

A      To try in a determined way to defeat your opponent

B       To have a medical operation


         Answer :  B


9       a knight in shinning armour

A      A brave, romantic and protective man

B       A person who has two very different parts to their character


         Answer :  A


10     Murphy’s law

A      To deal with a problem yourself, sometimes in an illegal way

B       If something can go wrong, it will go wrong


         Answer :  B


 IDIOMS – Set 9

 Choose the correct meaning for each idiom.

 1       turn over a new leaf

A      To be eager to start doing something

B       To start behaving better


         Answer :  B


2       go out on a limb

A      To be the only person who takes a risk

B       To attack someone in a violent way


         Answer :  A


3       read between the lines

A      Working towards the right results

B       To understand something that is only suggested


         Answer :  B


4       lock, stock and barrel

A      All or every part of something

B       To stop doing something that is costing money


         Answer :  A


5       every man for himself

A      A situation in which people look after themselves and do not help others

B       A man who has been involved in a particular activity and is greatly respected


         Answer :  A


6       a dose of your own medicine

A      To do something in order to get something else

B       Bad treatment that is like the treatment you gave someone else


         Answer :  B


7       be on the mend

A      The ability to earn money easily

B       To be getting better/recover from an illness


         Answer :  B


8       burn the midnight oil

A      To make special effort to do more than required

B       To work or study until very late at night


         Answer :  B


9       no use crying over split milk

A      Do not worry about something bad that has already happened

B       To have a long, unpleasant and difficult experience


         Answer :  A


 10     speak your mind

A      To have the same opinion about a particular situation

B       To say exactly what you think without feeling shy


         Answer :  B


 IDIOMS – Set 10

 Choose the correct meaning for each idiom.

 1       make a mountain out of a molehill

A      To treat something as if it is very difficult than it actually is

B       To do something without trying very hard to succeed


         Answer :  A


2       hit the nail on the head

A      To destroy someone’s success, hopes or plans

B       To describe something in exactly the right way


         Answer :  B


3       a needle in a haystack

A      To cause a lot of trouble

B       Something that is very difficult to find


         Answer :  B


4       a pain in the neck

A      To be very annoying

B       To do something unpleasant because it will show good results


         Answer :  A


5       eat humble pie

A      To admit you were wrong about something

B       To tell someone how angry you are with them and why


         Answer :  A


6       a piece of cake

A      To give your opinion in a very direct way

B       Something that is very easy to do


         Answer :  B


7       a melting pot

A      A place where people from many countries come together

B       To bring a dish of food to a party


         Answer :  A


8       keep a low profile

A      To be known as successful by the public

B       To avoid doing anything that will make people notice you


         Answer :  B


9       be chasing rainbows

A      To be trying to achieve something difficult or impossible

B       To use your position of authority unfairly


         Answer :  A


10     a rule of thumb

A      The most important rule

B       A piece of advice or general rule which is usually true


         Answer :  B


1 Comment »

  1. las drogas said

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: