Idioms & Phrases, One Word Substitution, Synonyms, AntonymsPractice Sets - English



1. Go to rack and ruin
A) a state of utter chaos     B) a state of despair
C) a condition of exhilaration     D) get into a bad condition

2. Bite the dust
A) eat poorly     B) suffer a defeat
C) clean something     D) attack and defeat somebody

3. Have a chip on one’s shoulder
A) nurse a grudge     B) feel physically tall
C) suffer an ailment     D) carry a burden

4. The seamy side
A) on the right side     B) unpleasant aspect
C) visible aspects     D) on the left side of something

5. Too many Chiefs and not enough Indians
A) a proud gathering     B) an inefficient situation
C) an anti-national meeting     D) a top-level meeting

6. To strain every nerve
A) to make utmost effort     B) to feel weak and tired
C) to be a diligent worker     D) to be methodical in work

7. To pin one’s faith
A) to be sure of some body’s favour     B) to be unsure of favour
C) to bother for friends     D) to bother for one’s relatives

8. To play fast and loose
A) to be undependable     B) to cheat people
C) to hurt some body’s feelings     D) to trust others

9. To be on the fiddle
A) to play an important role       B) get money by doing illegal or dishonest things
C) to be busy over trifles      D) to be busy over important matter

10. Alma Mater
A) mother’s milk     B) mother’s concern for the child
C) the learning that one receives from mother     D) institution where one receives education

11. To be on the apex
A) to scale a peak     B) to be at the highest point
C) to punish somebody     D) to beat somebody

12. At one’s beck and call
A) to climb the back     B) to call from behind
C) to be always at one’s service or command     D) not to care for anybody

13. At one’s wit’s end
A) completely confused     B) to be very witty
C) to have no sense of humour     D) to confuse others

14. An axe to grind
A) to put an axe in the enemy’s territory     B) to put an axe in the ground
C) not to have any selfish motive     D) to have a selfish motive

15. To cast aspersions
A) to act as the pillar of support     B) to raise aspirations
C) to make unpleasant remarks     D) to dissolve all the differences

16. On the cards
A) impossible     B) shocking
C) evident     D) anticipated

17. Dark horse
A) an extremely corrupt person     B) a notorious criminal
C) an extremely rich person     D) an unexpected winner

18. To keep up one’s appearances
A) to make public appearances now and then     B) to maintain one’s looks and appearance
C) to keep up an outward show of prosperity     D) to make it appear that one is not concerned

19. Take to one’s heels
A) to measure upto one’s standard     B) to shake in one’s shoes
C) to run away     D) to run slowly

20. Off and on
A) repeatedly     B) always
C) occasionally     D) never

21. To take with a grain of salt
A) to make more palatable     B) to take a small quantity of
C) to make something meaningful     D) to accept with misgiving

22. To talk through one’s hat
A) to talk carefully     B) to talk softly
C) to talk nonsense     D) to talk secretively

23. Ins and outs
A) entrances and exits     B) details and complexities
C) passages and pathways     D) rules and regulations

24. Under a cloud
A) sheltered from the sun     B) under suspicion
C) out in the open     D) get wet

25. Capital Punishment
A) death sentence     B) life imprisonment
C) to be jailed     D) imprisoned for a long period

Answer Keys

1. D 2. B 3. A 4. B 5. B 6. A 7. A 8. B 9. B 10. D
11. B 12. C 13. A 14. D 15. C 16. D 17. D 18. D 19. C 20. C
21. D 22. C 23. B 24. B 25. A

Solution with explanation

1. Option ‘D’ (get into a bad condition). RACK here is a variant spelling of WRACK. It greatly pains me that my grandfather’s estate has been left to go to rack and ruin.

3. Option ‘A’ (nurse a grudge). Here NURSE = to have a strong feeling or an emotion for a long time; e.g.

Deepika still nurses the pain of rejection.

GRUDGE = a strong  feeling  of  anger and dislike for a person who you feel has treated you badly, especially one that lasts for a long time; e.g.

I don’t  bear  any grudge against you.

4. Option ‘B’ (unpleasant aspect)

NOTE: The term SEAMY SIDE refers to the wrong side of a garment, revealing the stitched seams.

5. Option ‘B’ (an inefficient situation). This idiom is used to describe a situation where there are too many people giving orders and not enough people to carry them out.

6. Option ‘A’ (to make utmost effort). UTMOST is used to emphasize how important or  serious  something is; e.g.

The situation needs to be handled with the utmost care.

8. Option ‘B’ (to cheat people); e.g. I can assure you that I am not playing fast and loose with him; I intend to marry him some day.

9. Option ‘B’ (get money by doing illegal or dishonest things). FIDDLE = a  fiddle is a dishonest action or scheme in which someone gets money for themselves; e.g.

Police investigating a Rs 10 million car insurance fiddle arrested 16 people yesterday.

11. Option ‘B’ (to be at the highest point). APEX = The highest point or top of a shape or object

13. Option ‘A’ (completely confused); e.g.

The baby’s been crying for hours, and I’m at my wit’s end!

15. Option ‘C’ (to make unpleasant remarks); e.g. Ashok says that he doesn’t want to cast aspersions on anyone, but he still talks badly about us all the time! ASPERSIONS = disrespectful remarks

16. Option ‘D’ (anticipated). ANTICIPATED = expected

19. Option ‘C’ (to run away). RUN AWAY = to leave a place or person secretly  and suddenly; e.g.

Ankit and my sister are  planning to run away together to get  married.

21. Option ‘D’ (to accept with misgiving). MISGIVING = a feeling of  doubt  or  worry about a future event; e.g.

Many teachers expressed serious misgivings  about the new tests.

22. Option ‘C’ (to talk nonsense); e.g.

Nothing of what he said made sense- he was talking through his hat.

23. Option ‘B’ (details and complexities). COMPLEXITIES = the features of something that make it difficult to understand or find an answer to; e.g.

There are a lot of complexities surrounding this issue.

24. Option ‘B’ (under suspicion). SUSPICION = doubt

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)

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