English (Idioms and Phrases) Quiz for SBI PO 2019 | New Pattern English Questions for Bank PO Exams

Directions: In each of the given questions, three sentences are given with a phrase/idiom highlighted in bold. You have to select the answer choice that states the combination of statements in which the idiom has been correctly used.
1
I. She had a big argument with her husband and in the fire of the moment, left him.
II. He was so excited about the new car that he had a cow.
III. He seemed so decent that it’s hard to believe he would have an egg on his face.
» Explain it
E
I. The correct idiom is in the heat of the moment and refers to a rash decision made in a frantic moment. This is incorrect.

Eg: Reckless spending is almost always the result of a heat-of-the-moment decision- an unplanned, impulse purchase where you hand over your credit card without thinking.

II. To have a cow is an idiom which means to have a fit. The original is thus incorrect.

Eg: He had a cow when he saw the mess we made

III. Egg on your face refers to being caught in an awkward moment and means that you’re embarrassed and ashamed. This is incorrect.

Eg: This latest scandal has left the government with egg on its face.

Hence, option E is correct.
2
I. She is playing hardball in a world dominated by men 20 years her senior.
II. The Government put the cart before the horse by investing heavily before making major reforms.
III. It is unfair to assume all men are cut from the same cloth.
» Explain it
D
I. To tell someone that you’re now playing hardball means you’re not taking it easy any more. You will do anything that is necessary to achieve what you want, even if this involves being harsh or unfair. This is correct.

Eg: I think it's time we play hardball with the suspect—he's not going to talk otherwise.

II. This idiom means trying to run before you can walk. It refers to something that is done contrary to a conventional or culturally expected order or relationship. This is correct.

Eg: With sudden clarity he realized that he needed to backtrack and make better plans, he’d been putting the cart before the horse and it was time to make corrections. This is correct.

III. To be cut from the same cloth means that you’re identical or very, very similar to someone else.

Eg: That boy and his dad are definitely cut from the same cloth.

Hence, option D is correct.
3
I. You’re the low hanging fruit as If you challenge him about his decision, he's going to be annoyed but if you don't, your staff is going to hate you.
II. He realized he was in the wrong and promised to turn over a new leaf.
III. They said they wanted to hire someone else for the job. What am I, chopped liver?
» Explain it
B
I. A low hanging fruit refers to a course of action that can be undertaken quickly and easily as part of a wider range of changes or solutions to a problem. The original sentence is absurd as it conveys a different meaning. This is incorrect.

Eg: Let's attempt the low-hanging fruits before the more difficult projects.

II. The word ‘leaf’ means a page of a book. If you “turn over a new leaf” you are turning to a fresh page, starting again, cleaning up your act. The statement is correct.

Eg: He was a naughty child, but turned over a new leaf as a teenager.

III. Chopped liver refers to someone that’s not of worth and insignificant. Usually, you refer to yourself as “chopped liver” to call attention to the fact that you’ve been left out of a conversation. The statement is correct.

Eg: “And what am I? Chopped liver”

Hence, option B is correct.
4
I. Do you mind if I take a rain check on that dinner? I have to work late tonight.

II. The New Zealand Government should let sleeping dogs lie and must implement the Dementia Care Act urgently as Dementia is one the biggest healthcare issues affecting four out of five Kiwis.

III. Facebook's latest attempt to steal someone's thunder is through the video chat app Bonfire, which is very similar to the app Houseparty.
» Explain it
D
I. Take a rain check: If you take a rain check, you decline an offer now, suggesting you will accept it later.
Ex: I'm sorry, Mimi, I'm just too exhausted to go out tonight. Could I take a rain check?

The idiom is used correctly in statement I.

II. Let sleeping dogs lie: This means to not disturb a situation and leave it as it is to avoid further trouble or complications.
Ex: Jane knew she should report the accident but decided to let sleeping dogs lie.

The statement above conveys the opposite and is incorrect.

III. Steal someone's thunder refers to take credit for something someone else did.
Ex: She did not announce the news at the party because her friend was getting married and she did not want to steal her thunder.

The statement above conveys the meaning well. This is correct.

Hence, option D is correct.
5
I. I can’t still wrap my head around the news that he decided to call it quits.

II. Queen Elizabeth gave the cold shoulder to President Obama for breaking protocol offering a toast to the Queen while they were playing the National Anthem of the United Kingdom

III. He decided, on the spur of the moment, to cut the mustard and ran away.
» Explain it
C
I. Wrap your head around something means to comprehend something that one considers confusing, or a foreign concept. The statement conveys this meaning and is correct.

II. Give someone the cold shoulder means to Ignore someone. The statement conveys this meaning and is correct.

III. Cut the mustard means to do a good job. The statement here is absurd and does not convey this meaning.

Hence, option C is correct.
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Idioms and Phrases Quiz No. 12

How to solve Questions on Idioms and Phrases for various bank and other exams

The topic of Idioms and Phrases is one of the most common topics under the English Section and questions on idioms and phrases are asked in almost every Bank Exam. Not only Bank exams, questions on idioms and phrases are important for exams like CLAT 2019. This makes this topic of Idioms and phrases very important and something that cannot and should not be ignored while preparing for Bank and other related exams. All the Bank PO exams have at least a few questions on idioms and phrases. This article focuses on preparing for questions related to idioms and phrases for Bank Po exams of different types and exams like CLAT 2019. 

Idioms and phrases questions are important not only for Bank Exams but also SSC exams, Railways, Law and even Insurance related exams respectively. Some prominent Bank exams for which fill in the blanks form an important topic include SBI Clerk, SBI PO, IBPS Po, IBPS clerk, RBI Grade B, SEBI Grade A, IBPS SO, Syndicate Bank, Canara Bank, RRB Assistant, RRB Scale I. Apart from the Bank exams mentioned above, fill in the blank related questions are also asked in SSC CHSL, SSC CGL, CGL Tier II English etc. These questions on Idioms and phrases also feature in Law exams like CLAT 2019 apart from being important for Railways exams- RRB Group D and RRB ALP respectively. 

With new pattern questions in idioms and phrases coming up in nearly every bank PO exam, the level of difficulty is set to rise in the coming times. Thus, it is necessary to understand how such questions on Idioms and phrases are to be solved and have a game plan ready to deal with them. One does not need to know the correct answer every time for all idioms and phrases questions. If the aspirant knows the basics, they can easily mark the correct answer by eliminating options.

We will talk about some important tips on solving questions on idioms and phrases below. Following this, we’ll also take a look at some example questions from various types of exams to understand the various patterns of Idioms and Phrases questions that can be asked in an exam.

What do Questions on Idioms and Phrases include?

In such questions, aspirants are provided with either a phrase/idiom or a sentence containing an idiom/phrase. There are options given which convey multiple meanings and the aspirant is supposed to choose the correct answer corresponding to the correct meaning. New pattern questions on idioms and phrases have been steadily rising in the recent times in various bank exams. So, how can we make sure we are able to solve the questions no matter how new the pattern?

Solve Idioms And Phrases Questions Tip 1:
Focus on the basics: All said and done, if the aspirant’s basics are in place, they ideally will not find it difficult to solve questions even if the pattern is new. So, the focus on solving idioms and phrases should be steady and honest hard work. Try and read about as many idioms and phrases as possible. Do not try to mug up; rather read the idioms and phrases in context of a passage or article. This would ensure you understand the meaning and usage and do not have to mug up the idioms and phrases.
 
Solve Idioms And Phrases Questions Tip 2:
 
Cue Cards: Prepare short notes on cue cards for quick revision. This also acts as a ready to refer to list and boosts one’s confidence. The notes should be brief and crisp and should be glimpsed at daily so there is need for last minute mugging up.

Solve Idioms And Phrases Questions Tip 3: 

Learn by Themes, emotions, subject: Trying to randomly learn Idioms and phrases can be tiresome as there are hundreds of them. It is always better to categorize them into different areas and classify each under a particular area. Eg: Anger, Hard work, Failure etc. This helps the brain to mentally sort out each one under a category and makes learning all the more easier.

Solve Idioms And Phrases Questions Tip 4:

Read papers and magazines: The best way to learn idioms and phrases without it feeling like a burden is to do so by reading articles from newspapers, magazines and novels. When we read something within a context, it sticks to the mind for a longer time period than when we simply rote learn something. 

Solve Idioms And Phrases Questions Tip 5:

Read the question and understand the context: In the exam, understand the context of the statement in terms of its theme, tone, meaning. This will help the aspirant in eliminating options. This is especially useful when the aspirant does not know the meaning of the idioms/phrases or is confused between similar ones.

Let us take a look at some examples of questions on idioms and phrases that have been coming in various Bank PO and other exams.

Exam Name: RRB Office Assistant Mains

Direction: In the question below, 3 statements are given with a phrase/ idiom highlighted in bold. From the options, select the combination of statements that have correctly used the phrase/ idiom.

I. It seems he is always ready to take responsibility in anything, just at the drop of a hat. 
II. After the huge loss in the last quarter, it is time for the company to go back to the drawing board so that it can come with a new strategy. 
III. Now that he has come back the ball is in your court to accept him or reject him.

(A) Both II and III
(B) Only II
(C) Only III
(D) Both I and II
(E) All I, II and III
 
Explanation:
 
Drop of a hat: It mean doing something immediately without giving much thought.
 
With respect to the given statement, it is clear that the intended meaning is that he is always ready to take new responsibility immediately without giving much thought to it. It is correct usage of the idiom and it is therefore a correct statement.
 
Go back to the drawing board: Starting all over again with a new plan.
 
In the given statement, the idiom has been used in the sense that the company should start all over again with something new in mind so that the huge losses in the last quarter can be compensated for in the coming days. This makes the statement II also correct in terms of usage of the idiom in bold.
 
Ball is in your court: It is up to you to decide the next course of action.
 
It is very clear from the given statement that, it is now up to you to decide whether you want to accept him or reject him since he has already made a comeback. The idiom has been used in the correct sense of the term in the given sentence. This sentence is, hence, correct in terms of the usage of the idiom in bold.
 
It makes option E the correct choice among the given options.
 
 
Exam Type: RRB Scale I Mains
 
Directions: In the question below, a statement has been given with a blank. In the options are some idioms/phrases, which may or may not fit in meaningfully in the blank. You are required to choose from the options, the one that provides the correct combination of the idioms/phrases which fit in the blanks grammatically and contextually. 
 
His message of peace and love was a weak attempt to ____________ and the people saw through it at once.
 
I. Pull the wool over their eyes
II. Sell a pig in a poke
III. A red rag to a bull
 
(A) Only II
(B) Only I and II
(C) Only II and III
(D) Only I and III
(E) All of the above
 
Explanation:
 
The idioms mean the following:
 
Pull the wool over eyes: To deceive or fool someone.
 
Sell a pig in a poke: Something is sold or bought without the buyer knowing its true nature or value.
 
A red rag to a bull: an object, utterance, or act which is certain to provoke someone.
 
As can be seen, I and II match the context and are correct in terms of usage.
 
III has a meaning that does not make sense in the present statement.
 
Hence, option B is correct.
 
Exam Type: NIACL Assistant Pre
 
Directions : Identify the words that are similar in meaning to the word/idiom/phrase in bold. If none of the options conveys the correct meaning, mark E as your answer. The options do not necessarily need to be grammatically correct. 
 
Upon asking him why he was so early at the office, Suresh beat about the bush.
 
(A) talking in a roundabout manner
(B) unwell
(C) talked politely
(D) gave extempore speech
(E) None of the above
 
Explanation:

‘Beat about the bush’ is an idiom which means ‘to say irrelevant things’ or ‘to avoid talking about what is important’. Options B and D are completely irrelevant to the context of the sentence and hence, are incorrect.
 
Between options A and C, option (a) is more relevant to the context of the sentence and is the correct answer.
 
Hence, option A is the correct answer.
 
Exam Type: CLAT

Directions: In the question below, a related phrase is followed by a group of words. Select the group of words that best expresses a relationship similar to the one expressed in the original phrase.
 
Make ends meet
 
(A) To eke out a living
(B) To live a frugal life
(C) To have a balanced lifestyle
(D) To spend lavishly
 
Explanation:

Make ends meet: make sufficient money to survive on/ eke out a living.
 
Out of all the options, option A conveys the meaning well.
 
Hence, option A is correct.
 
 
Exam Type: IBPS PO Pre
 
Directions: In each of the questions below, a phrase is followed by five sentences with some part of it as bold. You have to identify the sentence in which the bold part can be replaced by the given bold phrase to make the sentence grammatically and contextually correct.
 
Chase your trail
 
(A) He played a whole bag of tricks but still could not get the information required to crack the case.
(B) The teacher examined the assignment with a fine tooth comb but still could not find any fault with the students.
(C) The Government decided to do away with all kinds of direct benefit transfer programs ti8ll further orders from the Supreme Court of India.
(D)Since I have given this assignment to a new person, let us hope that he delivers the goods within the given time.
(E) The new employee has been cutting the ground from under feet but he has not been able to impress the boss.
 
Explanation:
 
Chase your trail (Idiom): Spending a lot of time and energy in doing a lot of things but ultimately achieving too little 
 
Whole bag of tricks (Idiom): Trying all the clever means to achieve something. The given sentence is correct with this idiom.
 
Fine tooth comb (Idiom): In a detailed manner. This idiom has been used correctly in the given sentence.
 
Do away with (Phrasal Verb): Cancelling something or eliminating something. The sentence is correct with the given phrasal verb since it has been used correctly in the given statement.
 
Delivers the goods (Idiom): Doing what is expected or promised. The sentence is correct with this idiom in place and that is why this idiom cannot be replaced.
 
Cut the ground from under the feet (Idiom): To do something to weaken the position of the other person. This idiom has not been used in the correct sense in the given sentence whereas chase yo0ur trail can be used in the sentence to imply the correct intended meaning.
 
This makes option E the correct choice among the given options.
 
Exam Type: RRB Scale I Mains
 
Directions: In the question below, a statement has been given with a blank. In the options are some idioms/phrases, which may or may not fit in meaningfully in the blank. You are required to choose from the options, the one that provides the correct combination of the idioms/phrases which fit in the blanks grammatically and contextually. 
 
In this generally upbeat environment, hardly any analyst wants to ____________ and state in a research report that the excitement about the rupee depreciation is overdone as far as IT stocks are concerned.
 
I. Put their necks on the line
II. Go out on a limb
III. Stick their necks out
 
(A) Only II
(B) Only III
(C) Only I and II
(D) Only I and III
(E) All of the above
 
Explanation:
 
All of the idioms refer to doing something they strongly believe in even though it is risky or extreme, and is likely to fail or be criticized by other people. All of these idioms mean the same and fit in well in the present context.
 
Hence, option E is correct.
 
Exam Type: IBPS PO Pre
 
Directions: The question consists of a statement with a blank which needs to be filled with one/more of the idioms given as options. Select the correct idiom/s and mark the respective option as your answer.
 
Though he was mad about it in the beginning, he gradually understood that it was just an accident and there is no point ____________, so he asked him to join his business again.
 
I. Crying over spilt milk
II. Having qualms
III. Cut to the chase
 
(A) Both I and II
(B) Both II and III
(C) Only II
(D) Only III
(E) Only I
 
Explanation:
 
Crying over spilt milk (Idiom): Complaining about a loss or failure from the past. 
 
Example: Since there is no point crying over spilt milk, he decided to forgive him for what he had done ten years ago.
 
This is correct with reference to the context of the given passage and can be used here.
 
Having qualms: Having an issue with something 
 
Example: He has no qualms against us now since we have apologized to him for all our mistakes.
 
This is correct with respect to the given context and it can be used to fill in the blank also.
 
Cut to the chase (Idiom): Coming directly to the point
 
Example: You are requested to cut to the chase since the faculty members don’t have much time.
 
This is not correct for the given sentence and this can be eliminated.
 
 This makes option A the correct choice among the given options.
 
Exam Type: SSC CGL Tier I
 
Directions: In each of the questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase and click the button corresponding to it.
 
Alphabet soup
 
(A) Confused mixture of things
(B) An organised set up
(C) Scattered things
(D) To delegate the authority
 
Explanation:
 
Alphabet soup (Idiom): 
 
A confusing mixture of things.
 
Ex. To differentiate between an Orange and a Kinoo is always like an alphabet soup for me.
 
Hence option A is the correct answer.
 
Exam Type: CLAT
 
Directions: The given sentences have a blank. Which of the idioms/phrases given in options can fit in the blank to make the sentence grammatically and meaningfully correct. 
 
Many parts of India are still governed by ____________ that take arbitrary decisions ranging from stealing of cows to inter-caste marriages.
 
(A) white elephant
(B) elephant in the room
(C) kangaroo courts 
(D) None of these
 
Explanation:
 
A white elephant (Idiom):
 
A possession that is useless or troublesome, especially one that is expensive to maintain or difficult to dispose of.
 
Elephant in the room (Idiom):
 
If you say there is an elephant in the room, you mean that there is an obvious problem or difficult situation that people do not want to talk about. 
 
Kangaroo court (Idiom):
 
An unofficial court held by a group of people in order to try someone regarded, especially without good evidence, as guilty of a crime or misdemeanour.
 
Evidently, option C best fits the blank in the given context of the sentence.
 
Option C is hence the correct answer. 
 
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