11/07/2016 04:31:32

Hi Guys! Still working with idioms @ school.
I found and prepared some activities to practise. I included exercises for different levels.
Hope you like them! 

Write your favourite idiom in the space below. 



Illustrate the idiom showing its literal meaning.

Can you explain the meaning of the idiom?



Can you use it in a sentence? (or a dialogue / situation)



Change Idioms to Plain English

He was all ears when his boss talked.  ►

He is a chip off the old block.  ►

He is thick in the head.  ►

The bank robbers were armed to the teeth.  ►

His comments threw a wet blanket on the discussion.  ►

They were beat after three days of hard work.  ►

Jack was hard up to pay his rent.  ►

The storm left them all in the same boat.  ►

The house fire meant we had to start from scratch.   ►


1. To end in smoke

Smoking too many cigarettes
House burnt down
Face failure
Religious ceremony 


  2. To get into hot waters

Bathe in the winter months
To get healthy
To get rich
To get into trouble 


  3. To make ends meet

A short story
To earn enough to live
To skip classes
To be an expert 


4. Bolt from the blue

Sudden shock
To get punched
To lose a tight game
To ask for help 


5. To burn the candle at both ends

To argue endlessly
Long power cut
To work long hours
To have a good time 


6. To bury the hatchet

To end enmity
To kill someone
To hide stolen treasure
To overexert 


  7. To spill the beans

To eat clumsily
To reveal a secret
To get exhausted 
To fight 


  8. To lead someone up the garden path

To give directions
To show a beautiful place
To mislead someone
To exaggerate 


  9. To weather a storm

To criticize someone
To survive a crisis
To be an introvert 
To guess correctly 


  10. To bite one’s lip

To be unsure
To feel sorry at someone’s plight
To not react despite being angry
To laugh at someone’s misfortune


Each sentence given below contains an idiom/phrase. From the given alternatives, choose the one that best expresses the meaning of this idiom/phrase.

1. He has the gift of the gab.

a) He is gifted

b) He is a chatterbox

c) He is a good conservationist

2. Parental property has become a bone of contention between the siblings.

a) unifying factor

b) something that causes a quarrel

c) a firm view

d) none of these

3. Once in a blue moon, we meet each other.

a) frequently

b) hardly ever

c) very seldom indeed

d) in the light of a blue moon

4. He has been jobless for several months, and it is his wife who keeps the pot boiling.

a) avoids starvation

b) keeps the fire burning

c) is angry

d) keeps firing

5. In the end he had to eat the humble pie.

a) apologize humbly

b) defend himself vigorously

c) adopt an aggressive attitude

d) none of these

6. To be a good orator, you don’t have to play to the galleries.

a) offend audiences

b) to be prepared

c) appease select audience

d) to appeal to the lower taste

7. The officer took him to task.

a) rebuked him

b) dismissed him

c) promoted him

d) praised him


1. c) He is a good conservationist

2. b) something that causes a quarrel

3. c) very seldom indeed

4. a) avoids starvation

5. a) apologize humbly

6. d) to appeal to the lower taste

7. a) rebuked him

Idioms Quiz:

1. a blessing in disguise

Losing that job was a blessing in disguise because it meant I 

 a. got a much better job 

 b. lost my house 

 c. was unemployed for years 

2. add insult to injury 

After saying Beverly made too many mistakes, Bob added insult to injury by saying 

 a. they were small mistakes 

 b. she worked very slowly 

 c. her work was excellent 

3. clean as a whistle 

The school thought their new teacher's record was as clean as a whistle because he hadn't told them about 

 a. his arrest for drunk driving 

 b. his dirty bathroom 

 c. his cheating at cards 

4. hang in there | hang on in there 

My friends all called and told me to hang in there after I'd 

 a. left for my honeymoon 

 b. decided to go sky-diving 

 c. broken my leg in an accident 

5. leave well enough alone | let well enough alone

Some staff think we need new packaging for our products, and others think we should leave well enough alone and 

 a. change to new packaging 

 b. go back to older packaging 

 c. keep the same packaging 

6. playing with fire

People who keep loaded guns in the house are playing with fire because the guns 

 a. might be too heavy 

 b. could go off accidentally and kill someone 

 c. would go rusty 

7. quick on the trigger | quick on the draw

In business, it's often necessary to be quick on the draw, but sometimes it's better to 

 a. think carefully before doing something 

 b. do something faster than others 

 c. be slow to understand what's happening 

8. read between the lines

If you read between the lines, you will 

 a. know what the writer really thinks 

 b. be able to read a lot quicker 

 c. make up the story for yourself 

9. under wraps

The best way to keep something under wraps is to 

 a. put it into the refrigerator 

 b. stop thinking about it 

 c. let as few people as possible know about it 

10. You can say that again!

If someone says "You can say that again!", it means they 

 a. want you to repeat what you said 

 b. didn't understand what you said 

 c. agree with what you said

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