The idioms and expressions below are some of the most common in English and equally important for CSS, PMS and all Competitive Exams. Here, some common and important idioms with meaning and examples are given. The example sentences show how idioms are used in context are also given here.
1. Carry out means “Accomplish, bring to a conclusion “
Example: They carried out the mission successfully.
Shakespeare had this term in King Lear (5:1): “And hardly shall I carry out my side, her husband being alive
Carry out also means “Put in practice or effect”
Example: We will carry out the new policy.
Please carry out my instructions.
2. Taken over means “Assume control, management, or possession of”
Example: The pilot told his copilot to take over the controls.
There’s a secret bid to take over our company. [Late 1800s]
3. Bring about means “Cause to happen, occur or exist”
Example: She hopes to bring about a change in his attitude.
4. Beat out
Knock into shape by beating
Example: She managed to beat out all the dents in the fender. [c. 1600]
Surpass or defeat someone, be chosen over someone
He got to the head of the line, beating out all the others.
5. Beat out of
Cheat someone of something
Example: He was always trying to beat the conductor out of the full train fare.
6. Bear with
Put up with, make allowance for
Example: He’ll just have to bear with them until they decide.
Nicholas Udall used this term in Ralph Roister Doister (c. 1553):
“The heart of a man should more honour win by bearing with a woman.”
It may also be used as an imperative.
Bear with me—I’m getting to the point.
7. To fall back on something / fall back upon means “Rely on, have recourse to”
Example: I fall back on old friends in time of need.
When he lost his job he had to fall back upon his savings
8. To fall through means “Fail, miscarry”
Example: The proposed amendment fell through.
I hope our plans won’t fall through. [Late 1700s]
9. Vested interests means “A personal stake in something”
Example: She has a vested interest in keeping the house in her name.
This term, first recorded in 1818, uses vested in the sense of “established” or “secured.”
10. Turn to account means “Use for one’s benefit”
Example: He turned the delay to good account, using the time to finish correspondence.
This idiom, first recorded in 1878, uses account in the sense of “a reckoning.”
11. Go Banana means “become crazy or angry.”
Example: He has never had a product that people went so bananas over.”
12. To beat the air / beat the wind means “Continue to make futile attempts, fight to no purpose”
Example: The candidates for office were so much alike that we thought our vote amounted to beating the air.
These phrases call up a vivid image of someone flailing away at nothing. [Late 1300s]
13. To foul of, (foul play) means “Unfair or treacherous action, especially involving violence”
Example: The police suspected he had met with foul play.
This term originally was and still is applied to unfair conduct in a sport or game and was being used figuratively by the late 1500s.
Shakespeare used it in The Tempest (1:2):
“What foul play had we that we came from thence?”
14. To keep open house means “To entertain friends at all times, to be hospitable”
Example: Ali is not too rich but yet so generous therefore he always keep open his house.
15. To have a finger in the pie means “Have an interest in or meddle in something”
Example: When they nominated me for the board, I’m sure Bill had a finger in the pie.
Another form of this idiom is
To have a finger in every pie means to have an interest in or be involved in everything
Example: She does a great deal for the town; she has a finger in every pie.
The precise origin of this metaphor, which presumably eludes either to tasting every pie or being involved in their concoction, has been lost. [Late 1500s]