Idioms challenge

By Anne Ward,2014-06-17 18:52
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Idioms challenge

    Inside Out

    Idioms challenge 2! WORKSHEET A

Exercise 1

Choose the correct answer, a, b or c for each of the questions below.

    1. What’s the meaning of ‘beat about the bush’?

     a) to talk about something but avoid the point that is most important

     b) to say you are angry about something but not do anything about it

     c) to make a lot of people feel afraid of you

    2. What’s the meaning of ‘pass the buck’?

     a) to be generous with your money

     b) to avoid taking responsibility for something by saying that someone else is


    c) to continue doing something for too long

    3. What’s the meaning of take your eye off the ball’?

    a) to fail to concentrate on something important, and therefore probably make a


     b) to stop thinking about trivial things and start concentrating on more important


     c) to begin to understand more about a situation because you are no longer

    thinking only about one small part of it

    4. What does it mean if you have got a ‘raw deal’?

     a) You have been offered an opportunity that other people don’t know about.

     b) You have been treated unfairly.

     c) You have been asked to do something for the first time.

    5. What’s the meaning of ‘jump the gun’?

     a) to escape from a dangerous situation

     b) to avoid taking risks

     c) to start doing something too soon, probably without thinking carefully about it

    6. What does it mean if someone is ‘under the weather’?

     a) They are feeling ill.

     b) They have a lot of problems.

     c) Their mood seems to change when the weather changes.

    7. What’s the meaning of ‘sit on the fence’?

     a) to make a stupid mistake

     b) to be very lazy while other people are working

     c) to try not to support either side in a dispute

This page has been downloaded from It is photocopiable, but all copies must be complete pages. Copyright ? Macmillan Publishers Limited 2008.

    Inside Out

    Idioms challenge 2! WORKSHEET B

    8. What does it mean if someone is an ‘armchair critic’?

     a) They are always criticising other people’s furniture.

     b) They criticise what other people do, but never show how they themselves could

    do those things any better.

     c) They are always complaining about unimportant things.

9. What’s the meaning of ‘lose the plot’?

     a) to stop behaving rationally; to behave foolishly

     b) to be unable to understand the instructions someone is giving you

     c) to forget the ending to a story you are telling

    10. What does it mean if something isn’t ‘up to scratch’?

     a) It’s an annoying problem that you can’t solve at the moment.

     b) It isn’t going to harm anyone.

     c) It isn’t good enough; it doesn’t reach the required standard.

    11. How are you feeling if you are ‘over the moon’ about something?

     a) nervous

     b) delighted

     c) angry

    12. What does it mean if ‘the ball is in your court’?

     a) You have to do something, or make a decision, before any progress can be

    made in a situation.

     b) You have a great opportunity to be successful.

    c) You are very good at sport.

    13. What does is mean if someone is ‘stuffing their face’?

     a) They are eating a lot.

     b) They are making a lot of money.

     c) They are talking a lot.

    14. What does it mean if two people ‘get on like a house on fire’?

    a) They dislike each other and usually argue when they are together.

    b) They have a very good relationship and really enjoy spending time with each


    c) They enjoy being together, but their relationship causes problems for other


    This page has been downloaded from It is photocopiable, but all copies must be complete pages. Copyright ? Macmillan Publishers Limited 2008.

    Inside Out

    Idioms challenge 2! WORKSHEET C

Exercise 2

Complete the sentences below with the appropriate idioms from Exercise 1. You may

    need to change the verb forms.

1. ‘Sure, we need to start work on the project soon, but let’s not ______ ______

    ______ . We need to make sure we’ve got all the information before we begin.’

    2. ‘I’ve told them exactly what we want and how much money we’ll be able to pay.

    The ______’s ______ their ______ now.’

3. ‘Sharon’s absolutely ______ ______ ______ about her promotion, because she’s

    wanted that job for ages and the salary is fantastic.

4. My boss is behaving really strangely, and has made some crazy decisions in the

    last few days. I think she might be ______ ______ ______ .’

    5. Are you OK? You’re looking a bit ______ ______ ______ .’

    ‘I know, I think I might be getting flu.’

6. He was doing really well in the company for the first couple of years, but recently

    he’s ______ his ______ ______ ______ ______ . He seems less motivated than

    he used to be. The work he’s doing now simply isn’t ______ ______ ______ , and

    if he doesn’t improve we’ll have to fire him.’

7. Just shut up, will you? The last thing I need is an ______ ______ telling me I’m

    doing everything wrong while doing absolutely nothing to help.’

    8. So they expect you to work more hours than Peter, but for less money than he’s

    getting? It seems like they’ve given you a ______ ______ .’

9. Come on, stop ______ ______ the ______ . I’ve been listening to you for five

    minutes and still don’t know what you think about our idea.’

10. ‘Whenever we discuss politics it seems Steve always supports the government, Jo

    always supports the opposition, and Dave is always in the middle, ______

    ______ the ______ .’

11. ‘I thought they wouldn’t like each other, but in fact they ______ ______ ______ a

    ______ ______ ______ .’

    12. ‘Look, it wasn’t my fault. Sarah gave me the wrong information.’

    ‘Don’t try to ______ ______ ______ . Face the fact that you made a mistake.’

13. ‘I’m not surprised you don’t want lunch if you’ve been ______ ______ ______

    with chocolate all morning.’

    This page has been downloaded from It is photocopiable, but all copies must be complete pages. Copyright ? Macmillan Publishers Limited 2008.

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