Can You Properly Use These Idioms?

By: Becky

Can You Properly Use These Idioms?
Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Think you know how to correctly speak English? Prove it by taking this quiz.

Whether you could or couldn't care less is actually an issue, especially if you are trying to communicate with your fellow humans. The problem with the phrase "I couldn't care less" is that many people say it ... well ... incorrectly. Some people say "I could care less," which actually means that you have more caring to do. If you say that you "couldn't care less," then you are clearly done caring. So, although both of these phrases are grammatically correct, it is important to understand when to use them. If you're done caring, say "I couldn't care less," as in "I could not care less" (think "not " if you really have no more cares to give). If you've got a bit more caring left to do, say "I could care less."

If you know the difference between slight and sleight, have and of, intents and intensive, regardless and irregardless, and jibe and jive, you just might be able to ace this How Stuff Works quiz. We say "might," because we are pretty sure that you will get at least one wrong.

Think you're up to the challenge? Let's get started.


They treated her like a _________.
scapegoat
The phrase should be "they treated her like a scapegoat." If your goats have escaped, please go catch them.
escape goat

Advertisement

Fall by the _________
waste side
wayside
The phrase should be "fall by the wayside." We don't want you to go to waste.

Advertisement

I _______ born yesterday.
was
wasn't
The phrase is "I wasn't born yesterday." Let's hope you weren't born yesterday, or you wouldn't be taking this quiz!

Advertisement

For all ____________ purposes
intensive
intents and
The phrase should be "for all intents and purposes." Trust us on this one.

Advertisement

I _______ care less.
could
couldn't
The expression is "I couldn't care less." To say that you could care less would mean that you have more caring to do.

Advertisement

Without further _____.
ado
The correct phrase is "without further ado." The word "adieu" means "goodbye" in French.
adieu

Advertisement

Nipped in the _____
bud
The correct phrase is "nipped in the bud." This phrase means to stop or catch something while it's still in the early stages, like a flower bud.
butt

Advertisement

That won’t do you ___ good.
no
any
The phrase should be "That won't do you any good." To say that it won't do you no good would mean that it would do you some good. Trust us on this.

Advertisement

The ________ of limitations
statue
statute
The phrase should be "the statute of limitations." Limitations don't come in a statue.

Advertisement

A __________ of information
repository
This phrase should be "a repository of information." If you don't believe us, look up the definition of suppository.
suppository

Advertisement

She did her ___ diligence.
do
due
The correct phrase is "She did her due diligence." It's not likely she did her do.

Advertisement

He is at her _______ call.
beckon
beck and
The correct phrase is "He is at her beck and call." She may beckon him to come to her, but he's at her beck and call.

Advertisement

To ______________ the globe
circumvent
circumnavigate
The phrase should be "to circumnavigate the globe." Circumvent means to evade or avoid, and the globe is unavoidable.

Advertisement

Her attitude is self-__________.
depreciating
deprecating
The phrase should be "her attitude is self-deprecating." Depreciating is a word typically applied to monetary value.

Advertisement

He should ____ gone to school today.
of
have
The correct phrase is "He should have gone to school today." Seriously, we shouldn't have to tell you this.

Advertisement

Karen likes to drive fast __________ of the consequences.
regardless
The phrase should be "Karen likes to drive fast regardless of the consequences." The word "regardless" means "without regard."
irregardless

Advertisement

That doesn't _____ with what I learned.
jive
jibe
The correct phrase is "that doesn't jibe with what I learned." The word "jibe" means "agree with."

Advertisement

We called all the __________.
runners up
The correct phrase is "We called all the runners up." Sounds weird, but take our word for it.
runner ups

Advertisement

He got off _____ free.
scot
The correct phrase is "He got off scot free." Let's hope that you don't need to free Scott.
scott

Advertisement

She waited with _____ breath.
baited
bated
The correct phrase is "She waited with bated breath." We're assuming that you're in suspense, not catching fish.

Advertisement

Case ___ point
and
in
The correct phrase is "case in point." Please don't point your case; make it.

Advertisement

She gets hunger _____ at lunch time.
pains
pangs
The correct phrase is "She gets hunger pangs." Pangs are not particularly painful.

Advertisement

I ain’t got ____ time for supper.
any
The phrase should be "I ain't got any time for supper." However, if you want to really speak well, say "I have no time for supper."
no

Advertisement

I'm doing _____, thank you.
good
well
The correct phrase is "I'm doing well, thank you." Missionaries do good, you are doing well.

Advertisement

That's a ____ point.
moot
The correct phrase is "That's a moot point." Mute means silent; moot means open to discussion.
mute

Advertisement

She types _______ than 15 words per minute.
fewer
The correct phrase is "She types fewer than 15 words per minute." If you can count it, use "fewer," not "less."
less

Advertisement

She's on ___________.
tenderhooks
tenterhooks
The correct phrase is "She's on tenterhooks." Hooks aren't particularly tender, but they can be tenter.

Advertisement

First come, first ________
serve
served
The correct phrase is "first come, first served." Although many of use have a tendency to say this incorrectly, people are "served," not "serve."

Advertisement

The company _____ an annual picnic.
has
A company is a singular item, so it takes singular verbs. It is, however, awkward to refer to a company as doing something, since it's an inanimate object.
have

Advertisement

His anger is deep ______.
seeded
seated
The correct phrase is "His anger is deep seated." The word "seated" means firmly established.

Advertisement

He emigrated ____ Europe.
from
The correct phrase is "He emigrated from Europe." Use the word "from" with the word "emigrate," and use the word "to" with "immigrate."
to

Advertisement

Magic is a _______ of hand.
sleight
The correct phrase is "Magic is a sleight of hand." Slight means small, sleight means dexterous or cunning.
slight

Advertisement

The appetizer ____ her appetite.
wetted
whetted
The correct phrase is "The appetizer whetted her appetite." The word "whet" means to stimulate.

Advertisement

That book _______ my interest.
peaked
piqued
The correct phrase is "That book piqued my interest." Your interest is not likely at its peak from just one book, but you might be interested enough to learn more, which is what this phrase means.

Advertisement

Waiting _____ my friend
for
The correct phrase is "waiting for my friend." Unless you are a server at a restaurant, you are probably not waiting on your friend.
on

Advertisement

You Got:
/35

Featured