Idiomatic Phrases Exercise (511)

Edit the sentences to reflect correct idiomatic usage.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: The alleged victim and the suspect are one in the same.
Correct : The alleged victim and the suspect are one and the same.

The sense is that the person is both this and that, one thing and the same thing.

2.
Original: She has an annoyingly straight-laced personality.
Correct : She has an annoyingly strait-laced personality.

The first part of the adjective refers not to continuing in a line but to an archaic sense of "strict" for the word that means "narrow, limited, tight."

3.
Original: I don’t think it’s as cut and dry as you make it out to be.
Correct : I don’t think it’s as cut and dried as you make it out to be.

The reference is to something being complete when it is not just dry as well as cut, but when it has been laid out to dry after being cut.

4.
Original: We were expected to tow the line from the beginning.
Correct : We were expected to toe the line from the beginning.

This phrase refers to figuratively making sure that one’s toes do not cross a line.

5.
Original: Like many of my generation, I grew up living in a track home.
Correct : Like many of my generation, I grew up living in a tract home.

The adjective modifying "home" refers to a tract of land.

Related Articles

Subscribe to our articles and exercises