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Assam Class 12 HS Exam Tense Exercise: General English

Commonly Used Phrases and Idioms and Group Verbs with Examples

Here are some commonly used phrases and idioms and group verbs that help you to increase your vocabulary and make conversation more meaningful and sweet.
The list is prepared on the basis of questions asked in various school examinations including all the questions asked in class 10 HSLC Exam.

A far cry (Not practicable): The demand for a separate state is a far cry.
All of a sudden (suddenly): All of a sudden, there was a heavy downpour.
At once (without delay/immediately): Go there at once.
All in all (Incharge): He is all in all in their family.
As soon as (as early as): Try to visit them as soon as possible.
As well as (in addition to): He knows English as well as Hindi.
At a loss (confused): He was at a loss to decide his next course of action.
At large (Not captured or arrested yet): The murderer is still at large.
At times (sometimes): He speaks nonsense at times.
Bag and baggage (with all one's luggage with no possibility of returning): He has left the hotel bag and baggage.
Black sheep (mismatch in a group, hence disliked): He is the black sheep of our family.
Bring up (take care of a child till he is grown) : He was brought up by his grandmother.
Break down (suffer a bad condition): My health has broken down through overwork.
Break out (start suddenly): COVID-19 has broken out in our city.
By and large (taking everything into consideration): By and large Assam is not a poor state.
By dint of (by means of): He succeeded by dint of hard work.
By heart (memorise): You should learn this poem by heart.
By hook or by crook (by any means): He wants to earn money by hook or by crook.
By no means (in no way): The course is by no means an easy one.
Call in (to tell someone to come for help): Please call in a doctor.
Call on (meet someone): I'll call on my tutor today.
Call off (postpone): The meeting was called off.
Carry out (execute/obey): Always carry out what your teacher says.
Carry on(continue): Carry on your present job.
Come about (happen): How did it come about?
Come across (meet someone by chance): I came across the man in the market.
Come round (recover): He is coming round gradually.
Cats and dogs (heavily): It's raining cats and dogs now.
Day by day (gradually): He is gaining weight day by day.
Deal with (behave): He deals with his customers politely.
Deal in (trade in): He deals in tea.
Die of (die due to some disease): He died of Cholera.
Die from (die due to some other cause): He died from hard work.
Either or (anyone of the two): Either Karim or Rahim has done the work.
Fall out (quarrel): We should not fall out with our brothers.
Far and wide (to distant places): His name and fame has spread far and wide.
Fits and starts (irregularly): If you read by fits and starts, you can't pass the examination.
For ever (permanently): He has left the country for ever.
For good (permanently): He has left the country for good.
From hand to mouth (somehow manage to live a life): He lives from hand to mouth.
Get off (come out of a vehicle): He got off the bus.
Get rid of (be free from): I am not yet able to get rid of the problem at the workplace.
Get through (succeed): You will surely get through the examination.
Give away (distribute): The headmaster gave away the prizes.
Give up (leave a habit/work etc): We must give up smoking.
Get in (enter): May I get in, sir?
Hale and hearty (healthy and strong): I hope you are hale and hearty now.
Hand in hand (together/one holding to another's hand): Both of them came hand in hand.
Hard and fast (fixed): There is no hard and fast rule about it.
Heart and soul (eagerly and sincerely): He tried heart and soul to pass the examination.
Here and there (at many places but not indicated which places): He was walking here and there.
Hue and cry (loud noise): Suddenly there was a hue and cry in the market.
In black and white (in writing): submit your application in black and white.
In order to (with the purpose of): He visited Delhi in order to attend a meeting.
In spite of (even though): He never lost heart inspite of failures.
Instead of (in place of): He attended the meeting instead of his father.
In the long run(at last): In the long run, he gave up all hope of recovering from cancer.
In no time (very quickly): He will finish the work in no time.
Jack of all trades (having some knowledge of everything): He is a Jack of all trades but master of none.
Keep back (hide): She has somehow managed to keep back her tears.
Kith and kin (relatives): I have no kith and kin in this town.
Leak out (make public): Don't leak out the matter.
Look for (search): I am looking for a domestic help.
Look into (enquire into): The inspector is looking into the matter.
Look down upon (hate): Don't look down upon the poor.
Look after (take care of): This old man has none to look after him.
Make out (understand): I can't make out what you mean.
Make up one's mind (decide): I have made up my mind to study further.
Neat and clean (clean and orderly): You should keep your room neat and clean.
Nip in the bud (destroy something in the very beginning): His talent was nipped in the bud due to his association with bad company.
Null and void (invalid): His policy proved null and void.
Nook and corner (everywhere): His fame has spread in every nook and corner of the world.
Now and then (sometimes): He visits us now and then.
Neither ...... nor (no one of the two): Neither Ajoy nor Bijoy can do this work.
No sooner ...... than (as soon as): No sooner had he reached home than it began to rain.
None but (only): None but I can do this.
Not at all (in no way): He is not at all a good boy.
Of late (recently): The price of petrol has risen up of late.
On account of (because of/due to) I couldn't attend my classes on account of fever. 
One by one (one person at a time): They entered the room one by one.
On the other hand (contrary to what is said before): He is a wicked fellow. On the other hand, his son is kind hearted.
On the whole (taking everything into consideration): On the whole, we can't agree to the government decision on this issue.
Pass away (die): He passed away in December last year.
Open secret (known to all): That he is a thief is an open secret.
Put on (wear): She has put on a new Saree today.
Put up (stay temporarily): I am putting up with my friend now.
Put out (blow off/stop a fire): Put out the candle now.
Run over (hit someone by driving over him): The cow was run over by a truck.
Red letter day (memorable day): 15th August 1947 is a red letter day for the Indians.
Rule over (reign): Once upon a time Akbar ruled over this region.
Rule out (reject): The Prime Minister ruled out the possibility of another lockdown.
See off (say goodbye): He is going to the station to see off his friend.
Send for (tell someone to come to help you): Please send for the boy soon.
Set out (start a journey): He has set out for England.
Set up (be established): After graduation, he set up as a teacher.
Set up (establish): We set up a school here.
Sort out (filter out): The postman is sorting out the letters.
So far as (to the extent): So far as I know, he is a kind hearted man.
Stand by (give support): He stands by me in times of my problems.
Take after (resemble): She takes after her mother.
Take down (write down): take down the main points of the story.
Take over (take responsibility from someone): The new headmaster has taken over charge.
Take to one's bed (be confined to bed with illness): He has taken to his bed with severe cold and fever.
Take heart (feel encouraged): He took heart at his mother's advice.
Tell upon (affect badly/harm): Smoking told upon his health.
To and fro (to and from): I don't know the fare to and fro Delhi and Chennai.
Turn down (reject): His application was turned down.
Turn up (appear/attend): He didn't turn up for the meeting.
Take for (think of somebody as somebody else): He took me for his teacher.
Take care of (care for): Take care of your health.
Ups and downs (rise and fall): Life is full of ups and downs.
With a view to (with the purpose of): He went to Kolkata with a view to buying some books.
With flying colours (with pride/glory): He passed the examination with flying colours.


  1. Very detailed, should be quite helpful.
    I am going to use it as a reference site!

  2. Very detailed, should be quite helpful.
    I am going to use it as a reference site!


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