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!

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