Expressions Quiz: Actions

You can do this quiz online or print it on paper. It tests comprehension of common English expressions used to describe particular actions or behaviour.

Read each sentence and choose the answer with the closest meaning to the words in italics.

1. My wife's doctor will keep me posted on her condition while I'm away.

post me the bills
keep me informed
email any updates
a) post me the bills b) keep me informed c) email any updates

2. Barry kills two birds with one stone by exercising while he's watching the news.

achieves two goals at the same time
does two things with one action
uses half the number of stones
a) achieves two goals at the same time b) does two things with one action c) uses half the number of stones

3. The vice-president will hold the fort while the president's overseas.

control the military
take over temporarily
overthrow the government
a) control the military b) take over temporarily c) overthrow the government

4. Protesting peacefully is fine, but using violence is going too far.

unnecessary
impossible
unacceptable
a) unnecessary b) impossible c) unacceptable

5. The exams are next week, so you had better start studying.

could
have to
should
a) could b) have to c) should

6. If you bide your time, you'll end up getting a better deal.

wait for the right time to act
act immediately
wait too long before acting
a) wait for the right time to act b) act immediately c) wait too long before acting

7. If you accuse your colleagues of corruption, you'll be going out on a limb.

supported by some people
supported by everyone
supported by no-one
a) supported by some people b) supported by everyone c) supported by no-one

8. James is getting too big for his boots. Someone should put him in his place.

too self-important
too overweight
too popular
a) too self-important b) too overweight c) too popular

9. If Gotham City needs help, Batman swings into action and saves the day.

takes no action
immediately takes action
dreams of taking action
a) takes no action b) immediately takes action c) dreams of taking action

10. After Star Wars was a hit, lots of other studios got in on the act and made epic sci-fi movies.

followed the trend
started a new trend
resisted the trend
a) followed the trend b) started a new trend c) resisted the trend

Your score is:

Correct answers:

Contributor: Matt Errey. Matt is the author of several books including 1000 Phrasal Verbs in Context and Common English Idioms for learners, and Matt's ESL Games and Quizzes for teachers. He is also creator of WORD UP, the world's #1 EFL board game.