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Idioms Quiz: Structures

Many idioms are based on architectural and engineering structures. Test your knowledge of English idioms with the questions below. To learn more about an individual idiom, click on the "more about this idiom" link.

1. a ballpark figure | a ballpark estimate

She gave us a ballpark figure for the cost because she
  1. didn't know the exact amount
  2. knew how much a ballpark cost
  3. wanted to tell us the exact amount

2. a night on the town | out on the town

I had a night on the town with Lee and we
  1. worked until dawn
  2. watched TV at my place
  3. left the last club at 2 a.m.

3. a roller coaster | a roller-coaster ride

Ben says his life was a roller-coaster ride while
  1. he was living in an amusement park
  2. he was staying in a cottage in the countryside
  3. he was getting divorced and changing his job

4. burn your bridges | burn your boats

You'll be burning your bridges if you
  1. save your money while working in a bank
  2. steal a customer's money while working in a bank
  3. borrow some money while working in a bank
more about this idiom: burn your bridges | burn your boats

5. cross that bridge when we come to it

We can say "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it" if someone asks about
  1. how to get over a river
  2. a future problem
  3. a failed business
more about this idiom: cross that bridge when we come to it

6. light at the end of the tunnel

Gillian's business has been losing money for years, but there's light at the end of the tunnel now because
  1. she's closing down her business
  2. she's starting to get more orders
  3. the tunnel has been completed
more about this idiom: light at the end of the tunnel

7. paint the town red

We're heading out to paint the town red tonight, so don't forget to
  1. bring plenty of cash
  2. bring your paint brushes
  3. bring your laptop
more about this idiom: paint the town red

8. the new kid on the block

Dwayne is the new kid on the block. He
  1. has just started working here
  2. is going to get a promotion
  3. is about to lose his job
more about this idiom: the new kid on the block

9. under lock and key

The medicines are kept under lock and key so that
  1. they can't be used
  2. we can get them quickly
  3. the children can't get them
more about this idiom: under lock and key

10. water under the bridge | water over the dam

Sam says some things are water under the bridge and he doesn't want to talk about them, such as
  1. what happened in his childhood
  2. what he's doing these days
  3. his plans for the future

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