Idiomatic Usage – Practice Questions

DIRECTIONS: (Q. 1-8) For the given word, match the directions of the below (A, B, C, D) with their corresponding usage (E, F, G, H) on the right.
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(Q. 9-15): Select the option with the correct usage/meaning of the word/phrase.
  1.   Dictionary definition   Usage
    A Adequately and properly aged so as to be free of harshness E He has mellowed with age
    B Freed from the rashness of youth F The tones of the old violin were mellow
    C Of soft and loamy consistency G Some wines are mellow.
    D Rich and pleasant H Mellow soil is found in the Gangetic plains.
    1. A E, B G, C F, D H
    2. A E, B F, C G, D H
    3. A G, B E, C H, D F
    4. A H, B G, C F, D E
  2.   Dictionary definition   Usage
    A Remove a stigma from the name of E The opposition was purged after the coup.
    B Make clean by removing whatever is superfluous, foreign F The committee heard his attempt to purge himself of a charge of heresy
    C Get rid of G Drugs that purge the bowels are often bad for the brain.
    D To cause evacuation of H It is recommended to purge water by distillation
    1. A E, B G, C F, D H
    2. A F, B E, C G, D H
    3. A H, B F, C G, D E
    4. A F, B H, C E, D G
  3.   Dictionary definition   Usage
    A To extend outside of or enlarge beyond E The mercy of God exceeds our finite minds
    B To be greater than or superior to F Their accomplishments exceeded our expectation.
    C Be beyond the comprehension of G He exceeded his authority when he paid his brother’s gambling debts with money from the trust.
    D To go beyond a limit set by (as an authority or privilege) H If this rain keeps up, the river will exceed its banks by morning.
    1. A H, B F, C E, D G
    2. A H, B E, C F, D G
    3. A G, B F, C E, D H
    4. A F, B G, C H, D E
  1.   Dictionary definition   Usage
    A Removal or lightening of something distressing E A ceremony fellows the relief of a sentry after the morning shift.
    B Aid in the form of necessities for the indigent F It was relief to take off the tight shoes
    C Diversion G The only relief I get is by playing cards.
    D Release from the performance of duty H Disaster relief was offered to the victims
    1. A F, B H, C E, D G
    2. A F, B H, C G, D E
    3. A H, B F, C G, D E
    4. A G, B E, C H, D F
  2.   Dictionary definition   Usage
    A To derive by reasoning or implication E We see smoke and the infer fire
    B To surmise F Given some utterance, a listener may infer from it all sorts of things which neither the utterance nor the uttered implied
    C To point out G I waited all day to meet him; from this you can infer my zeal to see him
    D To hint H She did not take part in the debate except to ask and question inferring that she was not interested in the debate.
    1. A G, B E, C F, D H
    2. A F, B H, C E, D G
    3. A H, B G, C F, D E
    4. A E, B F, C G, D H
  3.   Dictionary definition   Usage
    A Give new direction to E It was now his turn to be angry
    B Send F Leena never turned away a beggar
    C Change in form G Ashish asked Laxman to turn his face to the left
    D Opportunity coming successively for each person H The old school building was turned into a museum
    1. A – H, B - F, C – E, D – G
    2. A – G, B – E, C – F , D – H
    3. A – GB – HC – ED – F
    4. A – F, B – H, C – E, D – G
  4.   Dictionary definition   Usage
    A Capture E All her friends agreed that Prasad was a good catch
    B Grasp with sense of mind F The proposal sounds good, but where’s the catch?
    C Deception G Hussain tries to catch the spirit  of India in his painting
    D Thing person worth trapping H Sorry, I could not catch you
    1. A – H, B - F, C – E, D – G
    2. A – F, B – G, C – E , D – H
    3. A – GB – FC – ED – H
    4. A – G, B – H, C – F, D – E
  5.   Dictionary definition   Usage
    A Obliged, constrained E Dines felt bound to take a walk when the discussion on turned to kickbacks
    B Limiting value F Buffered by contradictory forces, he was bound to lose his mind
    C Move in a specific direction G Vidya’s story strained the bounds of credibility
    D Destined or certain to be H Bound for a career in law, Jyoti was reluctant to study Milton
    1. A - F, B - H, C - G, D - E
    2. A - E, B - G, C - H, D - F
    3. A - EB-HC - FD - G
    4. A - F, B - G, C - E, D - H
  6. Help
    1. This syrup will help your cold
    2. I can’t help the colour of my skin
    3. Ranjit may help himself with the beer in the fridge
    4. Do you really expect me to help you out with cash?
  7. Paper
    1. Your suggestions look great on the paper, but are absolutely impractical
    2. Do you know how many trees are killed to make a truckload of paper?
    3. So far I have been able to paper over the disagreements among my brothers
    4. Dr. Malek will read a paper on criminalization of politics
  8. Business
    1. I want to do an MBA before going into business
    2. My wife runs profitable business in this suburb
    3. If we advertise we will get twice as much business as we have now
    4. How you spend your money is as much my business as yours
  9. Service
    1. Customers have to service themselves at this canteen
    2. It’s a service lift; don’t get into it
    3. I’m not making enough even to service the loan
    4. Jyoti’s husband has been on active service for three months
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  11. The poet drew on his fancy not his knowledge of nature, when he wrote his poem on birds.
    1. used his understanding
    2. used his imagination
    3. used his aptitude
    4. used his skill
  12. Very ambitious people do not like to rest on their laurels.
    1. be unhappy
    2. be impatient
    3. be motivated
    4. be complacent
  13. They made no bones about acknowledging their debt to his genius.
    1. did not have any hesitation in
    2. demanded compensation for
    3. did not have any faith in
    4. had problems in
1. C A-G: The wines have been preserved for a long time so as to ‘age’ it. B-E: He has been “freed from the rashness of youth” in his old age. C-H: The soil in the Gangetic plains are ‘rich’ with the flow of time.
D-F: The violin tunes were ‘rich and pleasant’.
2. D A-F: The committee heard his attempt to “remove the stigma” from his name. B-H: Water had to be purified of “foreign/superfluous” ingredients by distillation. C-E: The opposition was “gotten rid of” after the coup. D-G: Drugs that empty the bowels have a bad effecton the brain. option 4 is correct
3. A A-H: Here ‘exceed’ would mean ‘flowing beyond’ the ‘banks’ (physical boundaries). B-F: Here their accomplishments ‘were superior to’ the expectation. C-E: It is difficult for us to ‘comprehend’ the infinitemercy of God. D-G: He ‘crossed limits’ when he embezzled from the fund. Option  3 is correct
4. B A-F: The author felt “light after removing something distressing ‘shoes’ B-H: The victims were given relief ‘aid’. C-G: The only ‘diversion’ I get is by playing cards. D-E: The sentry was ‘released from the performance of duty’. Option 2is correct.
5. A A-E: We see smoke and ‘deduce’ that there must be afire. B-F: The listener makes all sorts of guesses about the ‘utterance’. C-G: ‘You’ can be sure from ‘the long wait’ that the person is definitely inclined to meet ‘him’. D-H: She had distanced herself from the debate but for a perfunctory question, thereby ‘hinting’ that shewas not exactly excited by the debate. Option 1 is correct
6. C Note that size matches with cricket pitch and vessel matches with measuring oil
7. D Note that capture matches with Husain capturing the spirit, grasp matches with I could not catch you, and soon
8. B A matches with E, B with G, and so on.
9. C The right construction would be "… himself to the beer…". 
10. A Option 1 is the right answer because it should have been “ great on paper”.
11. B The correct sentence should have read “ …. runs a profitable business …”
12. A “Customers have to serve themselves….” would be the right construction.
13. B Drew on his fancy –used his imagination.
14. D To rest on their laurels means be happy with what they get, be complacent. Hence option D)
15. A Make no bones about something – to say clearly what you think or feel although you may embarrass or offend someone.
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