26 English Speaking Practice Exercises with Answers

English Speaking Exercise Eduhyme

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Exercise 1 – Fill in the blank with the missing word:

1) I can’t believe you bought a couch at Honest Abe’s. Everything in that store costs an arm and a __________.

a) Foot
b) Leg
c) Hand

2) After Bob found out that his advertising campaign failed, he wanted to go back to the drawing __________.

a) Board
b) Table
c) Room

3) When somebody isn’t listening to you, there’s no ___________ in trying to argue with them.

a) Edge
b) Tip
c) Point

4) Jose is really smart. He’s as sharp as a ____________ .

a) Tack
b) Nail
c) Screw

5) The salespeople at Honest Abe’s always look angry and never speak to anybody. No wonder they _________ Bob the creeps.

a) Take
b) Give
c) Allow

6) Bob got fired. He isn’t looking forward __________ to the news to his family.

a) Breaking
b) Cracking
c) Saying

7) Bob thought his new advertisements would bring in lots of customers and save the ________.

a) Morning
b) Night
c) Day

8) Fortunately, Bob no longer has to put _________ with his stupid boss at the furniture store.

a) over
b) In
c) Up

ANSWER KEY

1. b
2. a
3. c
4. a
5. b
6. a
7. c
8. c

Exercise 2 – Fill in the blank with the missing word:

1) What’s the ____________? You look upset.

a) situation
b) Issue
c) Matter

2) I know I can trust you. You would never stab me in the ___________

a) Leg
b) Back
c) Arm

3) If Bob and Susan run out of money, they can always borrow money from Susan’s sister as ___________ a resort.

a) final
b) First
c) Last

4) You look really stressed _________. Why don’t you sit down, relax, and have a cup of tea?

a) About
b) In
c) Out

5) Bob, everything will be fine. You just need to keep your chin _______ and remember that tomorrow is another day.

a) Up
b) Down
c) Above

6) I just can’t make up my _________ whether to order chicken or fish.

a) Head
b) Brain
c) Mind

7) Nicole accidentally stepped on Ted’s guitar. Ted got really angry and told her ________.

a) Off
b) Out
c) Away

8) Your husband left you for his psychologist? Hang _________ there! I’m sure he’ll realize she’s crazy and then come back to you.

a) Up
b) In
c) Out

ANSWER KEY

1. c
2. b
3. c
4. c
5. a
6. c
7. a
8. b

Exercise 3 – Fill in the blank with the missing word:

1) Nicole is in a good mood because her teacher her ________ a compliment.

a) Told
b) Paid
c) Provided

2) Nicole’s teacher told her she was ________ and shoulders above her classmates.

a) Elbow
b) Neck
c) Head

3) When my friend Chad told me he’d just won the lottery, I was ______ with envy.

a) Blue
b) Green
c) red

4) When you do something well, your boss might tell you, “Way ______!”

a) To come
b) To go
c) To act

5) When the robbers entered my house, I was in the kitchen shaking in my ______.

a) Slippers
b) Pajamas
c) Shoes

6) If somebody is bothering you, you can tell them they’re driving you __________.

a) crazy
b) Angry
c) Unhappy

7) If you like power, you might consider going_______________ politics.

a) Above
b) Towards
c) Into

8) “You’ve been yelling and screaming for the past two hours. Could you just shut____________ already?”

a) Up
b) In
c) Off

ANSWER KEY

1. b
2. c
3. b
4. b
5. c
6. a
7. c
8. a

Exercise 4 – Choose the best substitute for the phrase or sentence in underline:

1) When her friend Anna got into Yale, Nicole was green with envy.

a) Sick
b) Happy for her
c) Very jealous

2) Bob and Susan are really gung ho about the TV show Survivor. They watch it every Thursday night.

a) Enthusiastic
b) Concerned
c) Angry

3) Shut up! I can’t take any more of your screaming.

a) Talk louder!
b) Be quiet!
c) Get out!

4) You got a scholarship to attend Harvard? Way to go!

a) Too bad!
b) Good work!
c) Oh well!

5) Please don’t butt in! We weren’t talking to you.

a) Look at us
b) disagree with us
c) interrupt our conversation

6) These cookies aren’t very good. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said I should add more sugar next time.

a) Were wrong
b) Were right
c) Were confused

ANSWER KEY

1. c
2. a
3. b
4. b
5. c
6. b

Exercise 5 – Fill in the blank with the missing word:

1) Bob was fired. It’s not surprising that he’s down ________ the dumps.

a) At
b) In
c) With

2) Ted thinks Amber is wonderful. He’s just crazy _______ her.

a) About
b) Around
c) Into

3) “Don’t ______ this the wrong way, but I really don’t like your girlfriend,” said Susan to Ted.

a) Understand
b) Put
c) Take

4) Ted likes to hang ______ with Amber. She’s fun to be with.

a) On
b) Out
c) In

5) Ted decided to go over to Amber’s house. He’d promised her he’d drop __________.

a) By
b) Around
c) Near

6) Bob and Susan don’t know where they’ll go on vacation. Their travel plans are still up _______ the air.

a) Around
b) In
c) Above

7) Judy muttered something nasty _______ her breath, but I couldn’t quite hear it.

a) About
b) Under
c) Below

8) Why are you hanging ______ the house on such a beautiful day? You should be outside enjoying the weather.

a) Inside
b) From
c) Around

ANSWER KEY

1. b
2. a
3. c
4. b
5. a
6. b
7. b
8. c

Exercise 6 – Fill in the blank with the missing word:

1) After copying from his friend’s paper during the test, Ted was on _____ ice with his chemistry teacher.

a) Thick
b) Thin
c) Dangerous

2) Ted’s teacher hit the __________ on the head. Ted should spend less time playing guitar and more time studying.

a) Tack
b) Nail
c) Screw

3) I’m not really crazy about my friend’s husband. He talks too much, and he never listens to what anybody else is saying. He’s just not my cup of _________.

a) Coffee
b) Cocoa
c) Tea

4) If Ted has his _______ set on going to New York University, he’s going to have to buckle down and start studying more.

a) Life
b) Brain
c) Heart

5) Its not surprising that Nicole gets such good grades. She’s as __________ as a tack.

a) Smart
b) Sharp
c) Clever

6) When Peter _________ his temper, it’s very scary. He throws furniture everywhere.

a) Loses
b) Finds
c) Opens

7) After Jane started hitting the ______ , her grades started improving immediately.

a) Work
b) Books
c) Teachers

8) Nicole said something _______ her breath, but I couldn’t hear it. When I asked her to repeat it, she refused.

a) On
b) About
c) Under

9) Will Ted ever be the best student in his class? Sure, when fly __________!

a) Sheep
b) Goats
c) Pigs

10) A positive attitude leads to success. When things get difficult, it’s important to keep your __________ up.

a) Chin
b) Neck
c) Head

11) Bob was all stressed _________ because the traffic was making him late for a doctor’s appointment.

a) over
b) Out
c) Up

12) Frank knew that the judge had already decided he was guilty. There was no point _______ arguing with him.

a) In
b) Around
c) About

13) Some people think Nicole and Susan are sisters. That really __________- Nicole crazy!

a) Does
b) Causes
c) Drives

14) Ted has been slacking _________ since the first day of high school, so it’s not surprising that he’s doing so poorly.

a) Around
b) Off
c) About

15) During the Depression in the 1930’s, many families in America were living from hand to __________.

a) Arm
b) Mouth
c) Hand

ANSWER KEY

1. b
2. b
3. c
4. c
5. b
6. a
7. b
8. c
9. c
10. a
11. b
12. a
13. c
14. b
15. b

Exercise 7 – Choose the best substitute for the phrase or sentence in underline:

1) Thanks for baking cookies for me. You’ve got a heart of gold.

a) You’re a very nice person.
b) You’re a reliable person.
c) You’re very generous with your money.

2) I baked these cookies for you. Why don’t you pig out?

a) Please take just one cookie.
b) Take as many cookies as you like.
c) Why don’t you ever eat my cookies?

3) I know you’ll like my cookies since you’ve got a sweet tooth.

a) Your teeth are hurting
b) You don’t like sweet things
c) You like sweet things

4) You should go into business selling cookies.

a) You should go to the store and buy some cookies.
b) You should try to get a job baking cookies.
c) You should start a company that sells cookies.

5) I baked these cookies. Help yourself!

a) Let me get you one!
b) Take some!
c) You need to get some help!

6) If you went into business selling these delicious cookies, you’d make a bundle.

a) you’d make many cookies
b) you’d make a lot of money
c) you’d make a few dollars

7) Good thinking!

a) That’s a good idea!
b) Its good that you’re thinking!
c) Keep thinking good thoughts!

8) I was thirsty. This iced tea is just what the doctor ordered.

a) Exactly what I needed
b) Very healthy for me
c) Exactly what my doctor recommended

ANSWER KEY

1. a
2. b
3. c
4. c
5. b
6. b
7. a
8. a

Exercise 8 – Fill in the blank with the missing word:

1) Bob was surprised to see his wife up __________ and early in the morning.

a) Light
b) Bright
c) Ready

2) Last week I worked 80 hours. I really worked like a ________.

a) Dog
b) Cat
c) Squirrel

3) Bob had never baked anything before in his life. He didn’t even ________ have a about how to turn the oven on.

a) Hint
b) Suggestion
c) Clue

4) If you need to learn something quickly, you’d better take a course ___________.

a) Crash
b) Fast
c) beginner’s

5) Bob wasn’t sure he wanted to work for his wife. He had _______ feelings.

a) Nervous
b) Mixed
c) Confused

6) Jennifer’s boss is lousy and her salary is low. She’s not a happy ______.

a) Scout
b) Tourist
c) Camper

7) Bob decided to work for Susan. He figured he’d give it a _________.

a) Shot
b) Pop
c) Choice

8) Nicole was up all night finishing her Spanish homework. She didn’t sleep a _______.

a) Drink
b) Blink
c) Wink

ANSWER KEY

1. b
2. a
3. c
4. a
5. b
6. c
7. a
8. c

Exercise 9 – Choose the best substitute for the phrase in underline:

1) I’m in good spirits today because I got a promotion at work.

a) Happy
b) Drunk
c) Tired

2) Renting an apartment on Park Avenue in Manhattan is difficult, unless you’re made of money.

a) Wealthy
b) Strange
c) Famous

3) My friend’s daughter paints beautiful pictures. In a few years, she’ll take the art world by storm.

a) Something bad will happen and she’ll lose her job
b) she’ll draw an excellent painting of a storm
c) she’ll become a very successful artist

4) Susan thinks that Ted’s plan to become a famous rock star is a pipe dream.

a) Something that is not likely to happen
b) Ted’s biggest hope
c) Something very realistic

5) If you’re looking for a new suit, you shouldn’t have a problem. Clothing shops in this town are a dime a dozen.

a) Hard to find
b) Everywhere
c) Lousy

6) Ted performed at his high school dance. He knew he’d made a splash when all the girls started singing along.

a) Done something wrong
b) Made a very positive impression
c) Created waves

7) Being a wise guy can be fun, but it might not make you popular with your teachers.

a) A very intelligent person
b) An obnoxious person who makes sarcastic comments
c) A person whom everybody admires

8) Nicole wants to attend Yale, but her parents don’t want to shell out $100,000 for the tuition.

a) Waste
b) Save
c) Pay

ANSWER KEY

1. a
2. a
3. c
4. a
5. b
6. b
7. b
8. c

Exercise 10 – Fill in the blank with the missing word:

1) Nicole is very reliable. You can always count _______ her.

a) In
b) On
c) With

2) I need to ask you for your help, and I’ll do something nice for you in return. You scratch my ________ and I’ll scratch yours.

a) Back
b) Neck
c) Foot

3) Stop kidding _______ Tell me where you hid my shoes.

a) About
b) Around
c) Into

4) I can’t believe that Lisa gave you the __________ shoulder. I thought you two were friends.

a) Hot
b) Freezing
c) Cold

5) Ted’s friends didn’t want to vote for Nicole, but Ted talked them ________ it.

a) Into
b) Around
c) For

6) Although Jim Greene was ________ far the more qualified candidate, he lost the election because of a scandal.

a) Way
b) In
c) By

7) Denise is really full __________ herself. She thinks she’s the smartest and most beautiful woman in the world.

a) With
b) Of
c) In

8) Nicole thinks that Andrea is a snob. She says Andrea won’t ________ her the time of day.

a) Give
b) Allow
c) Tell

ANSWER KEY

1. b
2. a
3. b
4. c
5. a
6. c
7. b
8. a

Exercise 11 – Choose the best substitute for the phrase in underline:

1) This apple pie is out of this world.

a) Not bad
b) From another planet
c) Delicious

2) Jane was feeling on edge, so she went to a day spa to relax.

a) Anxious
b) Relaxed
c) Angry

3) You ate 15 cookies? You really made a pig of yourself!

a) Turned into an animal with a snout and tail
b) Made yourself sick
c) Ate more than you should have

4) Bob wasn’t sure he wanted to work for his wife’s cookie company, but she talked him into it.

a) Forced him
b) Convinced him
c) Asked him

5) Nancy doesn’t have a clue about the Internet. She’s never even used e-mail.

a) Understands deeply
b) Knows nothing
c) Is learning a lot

6) Stop beating around the bush! I don’t know what you’re trying to tell me.

a) Avoiding the subject
b) Hitting the trees
c) Repeating yourself

7) Paul likes to draw silly cartoons of his classmates on the blackboard before class. He’s a wise guy.

a) Bad student
b) Smart person
c) Sarcastic person

8) Tom needed to learn how to ride a horse before his trip to Ireland, so he took a crash course.

a) Short, intensive class
b) Class in falling down
c) semester-long class

9) Laura made a bundle when she was younger, and now she spends every day on the golf course.

a) Had a good job
b) Made lots of money
c) Stole money

10) The doctor will be with you soon. Please sit tight.

a) Come back later
b) Wait patiently
c) Follow me

ANSWER KEY

1. c
2. a
3.c
4. b
5. b
6. a
7. c
8. a
9. b
10. b

Exercise 12 – Fill in the blank with the missing word:

1) When the sun doesn’t shine all winter, it’s easy to start feeling down in the ______.

a) Dumps
b) Crazy
c) Luck

2) Things were so busy at work _______, I spent the entire week running around like a chicken with its cut off.

a) beak
b) Head
c) Neck

3) According to today’s newspaper, the economy is improving. Things are looking ________.

a) Up
b) Down
c) Forward

4) I thought you could help me with my new project. But if you’re too busy, never _________. I’ll find somebody else.

a) Bother
b) Mind
c) Worry

5) For heaven’s ______ If you don’t stop playing those video games, you’ll never get your homework done.

a) Angels
b) Sake
c) Benefit

6) When the school asked Susan to bring cookies to the bake sale, she said she’d be happy to help _______ .

a) In
b) About
c) Out

7) When my friend John told me how busy he was preparing for his Halloween party, I offered to pitch _______ .

a) In
b) Out
c) Him

8) Its like pulling _________ getting Nicole to help out in the kitchen.

a) Hair
b) Nails
c) Teeth

ANSWER KEY

1. a
2. b
3. a
4. b
5. b
6. c
7. a
8. c

Exercise 13 – Choose the best substitute for the phrase in underline:

1) Janice is doing all the cooking for her daughter’s wedding. I think she’s bitten off more than she can chew.

a) Accepted too little responsibility
b) Taken too much food into her mouth
c) Taken on more than she can handle

2) If Nicole is going to cover her entire school with election posters, she’d better get going on them immediately.

a) Start working on
b) Stop working on
c) Start destroying

3) If you get tired of mowing the lawn, I’d be happy to help out.

a) Confuse you
b) Do nothing
c) Assist you

4) Last year, Bill opened a store selling gourmet pet food. This year, he’ll open 10 more stores. His business is growing like crazy!

a) Very quickly
b) Very slowly
c) Despite being a crazy idea

5) Ever since receiving his rejection letter from Princeton University, Jason has been down in the dumps.

a) Happy
b) Sad
c) Encouraged

6) For a long time, Michelle couldn’t find a boyfriend. But now things are looking up. She met a nice guy last weekend.

a) Her love life is getting even worse
b) Her love life is improving
c) Her love life couldn’t get much worse

ANSWER KEY

1. c
2. a
3. c
4. a
5. b
6. b

Exercise 14 – Fill in the blank with the missing word:

1) When Susan was having trouble lifting her heavy mixer, Bob offered to lend a ____________.

a) Finger
b) Foot
c) Hand

2) Nicole used to play the piano, but she hasn’t practiced in five years. She’s really _______ practice.

a) About to
b) Into
c) out of

3) You’ve been working in the kitchen for hours. Why don’t you go and ________ a break?

a) Take
b) Give
c) Do

4) Amber picked up many ________ of the trade while working at Mrs. Field’s Cookies in the Stamford Mall.

a) Bits
b) Tricks
c) Pieces

5) Your shoulder massages are still the best. You haven’t _______ your touch.

a) Found
b) Lost
c) Spoiled

6) After two weeks in Italy, Tom started to pick _________ a few words of Italian, including cappuccino and pizza.

a) Up
b) Out
c) In

7) When Jill got tired of chopping the onions, Jack took ________ .

a) over
b) Off
c) Away

8) Whenever we need financial advice, we call Suze Orman. She really knows her _________ .

a) Things
b) Stuff
c) Matter

ANSWER KEY

1. c
2. c
3. a
4. b
5. b
6. a
7. a
8. b

Exercise 15 – Choose the best substitute for the phrase in underline:

1) Ted didn’t start studying for his chemistry test until the night before. Then he had to pull an all-nighter.

a) Get plenty of rest before an exam
b) Stay up all night studying
c) Sleep late

2) After working on it for months, I finally gave my presentation this morning. That was certainly a load off my mind!

a) A relief
b) Difficult
c) Easy

3) Nicole was turned off when Todd, her date, started picking his teeth with a toothpick during dinner.

a) Left the room
b) Became interested
c) Lost all interest

4) According to conventional wisdom, you shouldn’t ask about salary on your first interview.

a) Accepted beliefs
b) Outdated beliefs
c) Smart people

5) Ted had to perform his music before one of the most important talent agents in the country. It’s not surprising that he was a nervous wreck.

a) Confident
b) Very worried
c) Exhausted

6) Girls cheered and blew kisses whenever Ted performed his music. Amber worried that he’d get a big head.

a) Get a headache
b) Become arrogant
c) Find a new girlfriend

7) People keep telling Fred that he looks like a basket case. Maybe it’s because he hasn’t slept in weeks.

a) Really great
b) Angry
c) Terrible

8) Do you have a headache? Here, take two aspirin. That should do the trick.

a) Make you feel better
b) Perform magic
c) Make you feel worse

ANSWER KEY

1. b
2. a
3. c
4. a
5. b
6. b
7. c
8. a

Exercise 16 – Choose the best substitute for the phrase or sentence in underline:

1) Nicole didn’t want to go to the party, but her friend twisted her arm.

a) Persuaded her
b) Hurt her arm
c) Agreed with her

2) Amber needs to go on a diet and lose 10 pounds, but it’s difficult for her because she has such a sweet tooth.

a) She has a loose tooth
b) She has emotional problems
c) She likes to eat sweets

3) Amber likes to design handbags as a hobby, but she’s not sure she could make a living at it.

a) Do it for the rest of her life
b) Earn enough money to support herself
c) Do it all day long

4) Ted wanted to travel to Miami for a rock concert. His mother told him it was out of the question.

a) a good idea
b) Still a possibility
c) Not a possibility

5) Nicole worked her tail off, making hundreds of posters for her campaign.

a) Worked very hard
b) Worked until her tail fell off
c) Made her friends work hard

6) It’s crunch time. Ted has to write six papers in two days.

a) It’s a very busy time.
b) Its a time to relax.
c) It’s a period of time filled with fun and laughter.

7) My 95-year old neighbor was cutting her grass on a hot summer day. I offered to lend a hand.

a) Give her my hand
b) Help her
c) Drive her to the hospital

8) Jennifer treats her husband like dirt. I don’t know why he doesn’t just leave her.

a) is very nice to her husband
b) Asks her husband to do the gardening
c) is nasty to her husband

9) Tattoos are all the rage. Many kids are getting them.

a) Something that makes you angry
b) Very popular
c) Easy to get

10) Things are looking up for Bob. He’s already found a new job working for his wife.

a) Bob’s situation is getting worse.
b) Bob’s situation is improving.
c) Bob always focuses on positive things.

11) Susan volunteered to host 45 exchange students from China. Now she fears she’s bitten off more than she can chew.

a) Accepted an easy assignment
b) Taken on a bigger task than she can handle
c) Ordered too much Chinese food

12) If Ted doesn’t get going on his chemistry homework soon, he’s going to be up all night.

a) Start doing
b) Stop doing
c) Leave the house with

ANSWER KEY

1. a
2. c
3. b
4. c
5. a
6. a
7. b
8. c
9. b
10. b
11. b
12. a

Exercise 17 – Fill in the blank with the appropriate word:

1) When Nicole drove her car for the first time, she was really nervous. Now, after an entire year, it’s ______ nature.

a) first
b) Second
c) Third

2) I can’t believe I won. To _______ you the truth, I never thought I’d be able to beat you at tennis.

a) Say
b) Tell
c) Explain

3) Nicole was going to mail her college application to Yale. But then she decided to go to New Haven and deliver it ____ person.

a) On
b) At
c) In

4) After a snowstorm, it can be a real pain in the ______ driving to work in the morning.

a) Head
b) Arm
c) Neck

5) The meeting in Dallas was canceled, but, in _______ case, we still need to go there.

a) all
b) Any
c) About

6) Starting a new job is difficult in the beginning. It gets easier once you learn the _______.

a) Ropes
b) Chains
c) Ties

7) Bob and Susan thought getting rich would be very difficult. But thanks to their cookie business, it was a piece of _________ .

a) cookie
b) Cake
c) Pie

8) Let’s go to the movies tonight. I’ll look in the newspaper and _________ you a ring after I see what’s playing.

a) Offer
b) Take
c) Give

ANSWER KEY

1. b
2. b
3. c
4. c
5. b
6. a
7. b
8. c

Exercise 18 – Fill in the blank with the appropriate word:

1) I was really proud of my friend for winning an Olympic medal. “Way to ______ !” I told her.

a) Do
b) Succeed
c) Go

2) Amber loves to cook, so she never minds lending _______ in the kitchen.

a) Herself
b) A hand
c) Her hands

3) Vanessa is definitely not a night _________. She likes to be in bed by nine o’clock every night.

a) Bird
b) Hawk
c) Owl

4) After Mr. Digby was elected president of the company, he thought he was a real _____ shot.

a) Big
b) Huge
c) Large

5) You’re taking everything too seriously. You need to lighten ______.

a) Above
b) Up
c) Down

6) Let’s go! We’re already late. Let’s get the show on the __________.

a) street
b) Way
c) Road

7) When people near me whisper during a movie, it really ___________ on my nerves.

a) Gets
b) Acts
c) Scratches

8) Nicole’s teacher asked her to help a new exchange student from Argentina with her English homework. Nicole was happy to help ________.

a) Around
b) Out
c) In

ANSWER KEY

1. c
2. b
3. c
4. a
5. b
6. c
7. a
8. b

Exercise 19 – Choose the best substitute for the phrase or sentence in underline:

1) You want me to drive you all the way to Toronto during this snowstorm? Nothing doing!

a) Great idea!
b) No problem!
c) Not a chance!

2) Len and Ben, college roommates, stayed up until 3 a.m. talking and drinking beer. No wonder they didn’t wake up until noon the next day!

a) Didn’t go to bed
b) Went to bed
c) Didn’t eat dinner

3) Michael used to work the late shift at McDonald’s — from midnight to 8 a.m. He didn’t mind since he’s a night owl.

a) A wise person
b) A person who goes to sleep early
c) A person who likes to stay up late

4) The man behind me on the bus wouldn’t stop whistling. It really got on my nerves!

a) Entertained me
b) Annoyed me
c) Relaxed me

5) Our plane leaves in just two hours. If we don’t get the show on the road, we’re going to miss it.

a) Go into the street
b) Get ready to go
c) Call the airline

6) You want to attend Yale University? Call my friend Penny. She’s a real big shot on the admissions committee.

a) A powerful person
b) A big mouth
c) A useless person

7) Ted was fooling around with his friends when he should’ve been studying for his chemistry test.

a) Acting like a fool
b) Putting time to good use
c) Wasting time

8) You got a big promotion at work? Way to go!

a) Too bad!
b) Good job!
c) Sorry to hear that!

ANSWER KEY

1. c
2. a
3. c
4. b
5. b
6. a
7. c
8. b

Exercise 20 – Choose the best substitute for the phrase in underline:

1) After Nicole lost the election, she started ranting and raving.

a) Complaining loudly
b) Speaking quietly
c) Asking many questions

2) When a stranger approached me on the bus and asked to borrow my cell phone, I was taken aback.

a) Disappointed
b) Surprised
c) Delighted

3) When George showed up for work five minutes late, his boss Beth threatened to fire him. Beth is known for blowing things out of proportion.

a) Making a big deal out of small things
b) Lying
c) Creating extra work for someone

4) My apartment is always messy. I need to get my act together and start cleaning it once a week.

a) Start pretending
b) Gather a group of people together
c) Get organized

5) My heart goes out to all the homeless people lying outside my apartment building in February.

a) I help
b) I feel sorry for
c) I feel good about

6) I just found out yesterday that Amber never washes her hands before making cookies. Ted told me.

a) Saw
b) Overheard
c) Learned

7) The judge is going to throw the book at Jim for robbing several houses.

a) Release Jim from jail
b) Charge Jim with an offense
c) Read to Jim

8) Ted’s chemistry homework was much more difficult than Nicole had expected. She just couldn’t seem to get a handle on it.

a) Finish it
b) Understand it
c) Hold it in her hands

ANSWER KEY

1. a
2. b
3. a
4. c
5. b
6. c
7. b
8. b

Exercise 21 – Fill in the blank with the appropriate word:

1) My aunt and uncle are really sitting ______. They made a lot of money in the stock market.

a) Rich
b) Poor
c) Pretty

2) Lighten _________! You need to stop taking your job so seriously.

a) It
b) Up
c) Over

3) After a week, my houseguests really started to get _________ my nerves. They made long-distance phone calls to Singapore, drank all my wine, and slept until noon every day.

a) By
b) In
c) On

4) Amber likes to stay up past midnight every night. She’s what you’d call a _______ owl.

a) Night
b) Busy
c) Day

5) Mildred thought she’d have trouble remembering to take her pills. But now, after ten months, it’s ________ nature.

a) first
b) Second
c) Third

6) Susan messed _________ and left the cookies in the oven for 25 minutes too long. They were ruined.

a) Up
b) Over
c) Away

7) Andrea didn’t cheat. She won the election fair and _________.

a) Easily
b) Circle
c) Square

8) Bob didn’t know anything about baking when he and Susan started selling cookies, but he quickly learned the _______ .

a) Chains
b) Ropes
c) Strings

9) Ted and his friends were fooling ________ in the chemistry laboratory when they accidentally started a fire.

a) Around
b) About
c) Away

10) Mary’s daughter wanted the new Harry Potter book. But by the time they got to the bookstore, it was already sold _______.

a) Out
b) In
c) Away

ANSWER KEY

1. c
2. b
3. c
4. a
5. b
6. a
7. c
8. b
9. a
10. a

Exercise 22 – Fill in the blank with the appropriate word:

1) There’s a handsome exchange student from Sweden at Nicole’s school this year. Nicole is nuts _______ him.

a) With
b) Into
c) About

2) Susan and Bob were able to come _______ an agreement with the representative from the National Cookie Company.

a) From
b) With
c) To

3) When somebody has a successful track __________ , it’s usually easy for them to find a new job.

a) Record
b) History
c) Past

4) Let’s have dinner on Saturday night. I’ll get in touch ________ you later to choose a restaurant.

a) From
b) By
c) With

5) Susan doesn’t have a lot of money. In fact, she’s running her business _________ a shoestring.

a) With
b) On
c) In

6) You can find Starbucks coffee houses all _______ the country, from New York to California.

a) over
b) Above
c) Within

7) Bob hasn’t been on vacation in years. He’s really looking ______ to his trip to Maine.

a) Above
b) Forward
c) Ahead

8) Ted’s teacher helped him work __________ a study schedule.

a) Out
b) In
c) Through

ANSWER KEY

1. c
2. c
3. a
4. c
5. b
6. a
7. b
8. a

Exercise 23 – Choose the best substitute for the phrase or sentence in underline:

1) “What’s the matter? You don’t look happy.”

a) How are you?
b) What does it mean?
c) What’s wrong?

2) We sold our business. Now we’re rolling in dough!

a) we’re still making cookies
b) we’re rich
c) we’re poor

3) How could a woman find a hair in her cookie? I just don’t get it.

a) I don’t understand it.
b) I don’t get hair in my cookies.
c) I don’t believe it.

4) Ted and Amber think they’re going to strike it rich in the music business.

a) Get hurt
b) Make lots of money
c) Hit something

5) Bob thought that losing his job at the furniture store was no laughing matter.

a) Something serious
b) Something to laugh about
c) Something that doesn’t really matter

6) My boss at the plastics company was a real dragon lady. Whenever I went into her office, she started yelling.

a) Ugly woman
b) Nasty woman
c) fire-breathing monster

7) Nicole, I’m sorry you lost the election for president, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

a) that’s how it goes and you can’t do anything about it
b) Sometimes cookies fall apart
c) When bad things happen, you should be very upset

8) A few months after Peter fired Bob, his furniture store went out of business.

a) started doing better
b) Moved to a different location
c) Closed

ANSWER KEY

1. c
2. b
3. a
4. b
5. a
6. b
7. a
8. c

Exercise 24 – Fill in the blank with the missing word:

1) Billy fell down the stairs and started crying. When he finally stopped, his mother asked, “All ____________ ?”

a) good
b) Better
c) Okay

2) Amber was happy when Ted said they didn’t have to bake any more cookies. She was sick and tired _______ baking cookies.

a) Of
b) With
c) At

3) Ethan hasn’t yet made up his mind whether or not to accept the job offer. He needs to __________ some time.

a) Buy
b) Purchase
c) Get

4) The man behind me on the train was whistling loudly. It was giving me a headache. Finally, I told him to ______ it out.

a) Stop
b) Cut
c) Sever

5) Chill ________! We’re only going to be a few minutes late.

a) It
b) In
c) Out

6) Adam __________ a fortune working in computers in the late 90’s. He was able to retire at age 39.

a) Had
b) Made
c) Found

7) The students were told that while the test was _______ progress, they wouldn’t be allowed to leave the classroom.

a) With
b) In
c) At

8) Victoria has a big job. She’s in charge _________ the marketing department at her company.

a) At
b) With
c) Of

ANSWER KEY

1. b
2. a
3. a
4. b
5. c
6. b
7. b
8. c

Exercise 25 – Fill in the blank with the missing word:

1) I invited you to dinner, so let me ______ bill.

a) Hand off
b) Arm
c) Foot

2) My friend Kate is really ________ it. She doesn’t even know who Oprah Winfrey is.

a) out of
b) Into
c) Unaware of

3) Ted told Amber he’d need to call her back later in the evening since he was just ______ to have dinner.

a) Up
b) Around
c) About

4) After Bob and Susan wrap ____________ the sale of their business, they can relax for a while.

a) Through
b) Around
c) up

5) Sally got a job with a law firm in Manhattan?_____________ deal!

a) Small
b) Big
c) Huge

6) We love to visit our friends in Florence, Italy. They always _________ and dine us.

a) Liquor
b) Wine
c) Beer

7) Bob and Susan plan to give Nicole $ 1,000 per year of spending _________ when she’s in college.

a) Cash
b) Dough
c) Money

8) I recommend that you go to a concert at Carnegie Hall. The musicians who play there are always the cream of the _________ .

a) Crop
b) Lawn
c) Lot

ANSWER KEY

1. c
2. a
3. c
4. c
5. b
6. b
7. c
8. a

Exercise 26 – Fill in the blank with the missing word:

1) Next year, Ted will be traveling all _________ the world with his band.

a) About
b) Inside
c) Over

2) After his fifth vodka, Steve was __________ sheets to the wind.

a) five
b) Three
c) two

3) For a while, the Johnsons were living __________ a shoestring. They couldn’t afford to eat out at restaurants.

a) With
b) On
c) By

4) When my friend lost her favorite necklace, I told her it was no use crying over spilt ________ .

a) Milk
b) Juice
c) Beer

5) Joel has a fun job. He’s __________ charge of advertising sales for Mad, the best humor magazine in America.

a) At
b) On
c) In

6) Please put away your wallet! Let me________ the bill.

a) Arm
b) Foot
c) Hand

7) My friend was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I told her to chill ______ .

a) Out
b) In
c) Down

8) Bob worked out the nuts and ___________of the agreement with the National Cookie Company.

a) Details
b) Bolts
c) Tacks

9) After Martha’s neighbor chopped down her apple tree, she held a grudge _________ him for years.

a) From
b) Against
c) For

10) I arrived late to the stadium. The baseball game was already _________ progress.

a) Through
b) In
c) At

11) My friend invited me out for a drink, but I told her I’d first need to wrap _______ some things at the office.

a) Through
b) Along
c) Up

12) I’m _______ and tired of telemarketers calling me in the evening trying to sell me stuff I don’t want.

a) Sick
b) Ill
c) Angry

13) Kristen’s boss paid her a compliment. He said she was the best salesperson in the company. That really _________ her day.

a) Made
b) Created
c) Ruined

14) The person seated behind me on the airplane kept on kicking my seat. Finally, I told him to _________ it out.

a) Stop
b) Cut
c) Fly

15) Amber hopes to break _________ the modeling business after she graduates from high school. She can definitely model nose rings and tattoos!

a) Into
b) In
c) Around

ANSWER KEY

1. c
2. b
3. b
4. a
5. c
6. b
7. a
8. b
9. b
10. b
11. c
12. a
13. a
14. b
15. a

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