CBSE Class 8 English Idiomatic Phrases Concepts and Exercise


Idioms are words, phrases or expressions which are commonly used in everyday conversation. They are a type of informal English that have a meaning different from the meaning of the words in the expression.

They are often metaphorical and make the language more colorful. People use them to express something more vividly and often more briefly.

They serve as an image or mental picture. 

Fill in the blanks with appropriate idiom given in the box below.

birds of a feather flock together, chicken feed, let the cat out of the bag, crocodile tears, dead as a dodo, (as) sly as a fox, bat out of hell, take to something like a duck to water, bee in one's bonnet, kill two birds with one stone

  1. If you pick the groceries up when you drop George off for his shift, you will ____________________________.
  2. Who ______________________________ about the surprise party?
  3. He grabbed the envelope and ran like ___________________________.
  4. She's got ____________________________ about moving to New York.
  5. They get on well. No wonder ___________________________.
  6. I got a job during the holidays but the pay was _____________________.
  7. Sujata pretended to be sad but we all knew it were __________.
  8. The floppy disk is an invention that is now (as) _____________________.
  9. When Sophie first tried skiing, she took to it like a ___________________.
  10. Be wary of that insurance salesman. He's as ______________________.

Make sentences of your own of the following idiomatic phrases.

  1. Eager beaver
  2.  dark horse
  3. Chickens come home to roost
  4. Lion’s share
  5. Look a gift horse in the mouth
  6. Donkey's years
  7. A cock and bull story
  8. To take the bull by the horns
  9. Put the cart before the horse
  10. Raining cats and dogs


Fill in the blanks with the idioms given to make meaningful sentences:

eager beaver kill two birds with one stone birds of a feather flock together 

bat out of hell To take the bull by the horns bee in one's bonnet chicken feed

 raining cats and dogs a cock and bull story dead as a dodo 

 crocodile tears lion’s share chickens come home to roost a dark horse

 let the cat out of the bag rat race look a gift horse in the mouth 

 donkey's years put the cart before the horse take to something like a duck to water

  1. Do not believe in her ____________________________________ story.
  2. When the burglars heard the police car siren they ran like _____________________.
  3. When the child told her grandmother about the plans for her birthday, she __________. It was supposed to be a secret!
  4. Both the boys are interested in sports and are always seen together. It is rightly said_________________!
  5. 5.By studying on the train on the way home, Claire ________.
  6. When the argument turned into a fight, the bar owner __________ and called the police.
  7. The new accountant works all the time - first to arrive and last to leave. He's a real _____________!
  8. She's got ________________about moving to New York.
  9. We'll have to cancel the picnic I'm afraid - it's __________.
  10. 10 . It is a high profile job but the salary ____________.
  11. As tenants the couple were noisy and disorderly. Now they can't find a place to rent. The ___________!
  12. Caroline pretended to be upset but we all knew her tears were ________________ .
  13. Rahul has entered the talent show but he is rather ______________________ and we don’t know how he is likely to perform.
  14. The radiogram is an invention that is now _______________________________.
  15. The __________________________of the property went to the eldest son.
  16. You shouldn’t complain about the job which your uncle found for you in his factory, jobs are scarce and you shouldn’t __________.
  17. Radhika bought a pair of shoes and now she is planning to buy a matching dress, isn’t that ________.
  18. He knows the town inside out. He's been living here for ____________________.
  19. When the babies were in the swimming pool they ___________________________.
  20. Everybody is a part of the _________________ in this office.


Match the idioms to their meanings:



lion’s share

If you reveal a secret, often unintentionally.


eager beaver

largest or best part


let the cat out of the bag

If something moves very quickly.


put the cart before the horse

a person about whose talent, abilities etc are little known.


a dark horse

If someone has been doing something for a very long time


rat race

to do or say something in wrong order


bat out of hell

it is unquestionably dead or obsolete, or has gone out of fashion


donkey's years

 a person who is hardworking and enthusiastic, sometimes considered overzealous.


bee in one's bonnet

a fierce, unending competition


dead as a dodo

Someone who has an idea which constantly occupies their thoughts.



crocodile tears

An amount of money considered small or unimportant is called chicken feed.


birds of a feather flock together

If you take to something naturally and easily, without fear or hesitation


raining cats and dogs

If you succeed in doing two things at the same time


kill two birds with one stone

A lie


look a gift horse in the mouth

If bad or embarrassing things done in the past by someone are now causing problems for that person.


take to something like a duck to water

If two people are very similar in many ways, so they naturally spend time together.


a cock and bull story

to shed false tears or show insincere grief.


to take the bull by the horns 

If it is raining very heavily


chicken feed

to complain about something that one has been given.


chickens come home to roost

means that a person decides to act decisively in order to deal with a difficult situation or problem.


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