English Idioms Exercise (248)

Choose the answer that best restates the idiom in boldface.

  • The noisy music and tipsy laughter coming from my neighbor’s house died down.

  • There was something fishy about the way the man at the corner table kept looking at his watch.

  • Once the error was printed, complaints came pouring in; all we could do was ride it out.

  • Maurice may get on our nerves in the office, but you’ve got to hand it to him for the way he dealt with the power outage.

  • Now that I’ve worked for him for a month, I realize that Mr. Montague is really a very down-to earth person.

Answers and Explanations

1. The noisy music and tipsy laughter coming from my neighbor’s house died down.

Correct: faded away
Figuratively, noise or commotion is said to die down. The expression is also used literally of plants whose normal seasonal behavior is to die above ground at the end of their growing season, but which come back the following season.

2. There was something fishy about the way the man at the corner table kept looking at his watch.

Correct: suspicious
Looks or behavior that inspire doubt or suspicion are said to be "fishy," perhaps because people don’t trust the edibility of fish that smells bad.

3. Once the error was printed, complaints came pouring in; all we could do was ride it out.

Correct: endure the unpleasantness
The idiom "to ride out" in the sense of "to endure" originated as a nautical expression. Crews of a ship unable to reach shelter from a storm anchored in place and hoped for the best.

4. Maurice may get on our nerves in the office, but you’ve got to hand it to him for the way he dealt with the power outage.

Correct: give him credit
The expression often implies grudging admiration.

5. Now that I’ve worked for him for a month, I realize that Mr. Montague is really a very down-to earth person.

Correct: practical and straightforward
A down-to-earth person is one who does not put on affectations of superiority or communicate deviously.

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