Idioms Exercise (666)

Revise each sentence below to reflect correct usage of a stock phrase.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: She has a deep-seeded animosity toward him.
Correct : She has a deep-seated animosity toward him.

The phrase "deep seeded" suggests something that has been planted far below ground, so there is some logic to it as an idiom in the context, but the correct usage refers to something being deeply seated, or established.

2.
Original: His tormentor and her benefactor are one in the same.
Correct : His tormentor and her benefactor are one and the same.

The phrase "one and the same" is an idiomatic redundancy meaning that two things are identical. "One in the same," by contrast, illogically refers to something being a subset of itself.

3.
Original: Watch out for con men (and women) who will lead you down the primrose path.
Correct : Watch out for con men (and women) who will lead you down the garden path.

A deceptive detour is idiomatically referred to as a garden path; a primrose path is one that seductively starts a person on an easy but not necessarily appropriate journey, which may also involve deception, but the idioms have distinct meanings.

4.
Original: It’s certainly not the silver bullet medical researchers are searching for.
Correct : It’s certainly not the magic bullet medical researchers are searching for.

A silver bullet is a folkloric device that supposedly is effective on supernatural creatures, but the context of this sentence applies to a magic bullet; this figurative term refers to a drug that treats an ailment without deleterious side effects.

5.
Original: Satire is his stock and trade.
Correct : Satire is his stock in trade.

This idiom refers to what someone has a ready supply of—a stock he or she can trade.

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