The idioms in this exercise come from this article. Read the article and then try the practice exercise.

Instructions: For each number, a word is missing from the idiom. How many of the missing words can you identify?

1. I had to bite my ____ to keep my sarcastic comment from coming out.

2. You never listen to me when you’re watching football. It’s like talking to a ____ wall.

3. Since you missed a few classes, see if one of your classmates can go over their notes with you and ____ you up to speed.

4. In your country, do people make a lot of small talk at meetings before they get ____ to business?

5. In some cultures, people communicate directly and like to get to the ____ fairly quickly.

6. Ignoring the issue isn’t going to make it go away. You need to talk about it and clear the ____.

7. Parents must be ____ the same page when it comes to disciplining their children.

8. You should get the interview questions in advance. You don’t want the interviewer to ____ you on the spot.

9. ____ a nutshell, high school was an awkward time in my life.

10. Recently, politicians seem more comfortable ____ their minds and being direct with the public.

11. All my friends talk about is Game of Thrones, and I’ve never seen it. I feel so ____ of the loop.

12. Kate hasn’t gotten a hold of her mother yet today. They’ve been playing ____ tag.

13. Here’s the bottom ____: Human Resources exists to protect the company from you, not the other way around. Just remember that when you talk to them.

14. I think the prosecution has more than enough evidence for a conviction already. Calling more witnesses to the stand is just beating a ____ horse.

15. The news about the scandal ____ like wildfire. By lunchtime, everyone in the company had heard about it.

16. Why are you asking me what our manager thinks? Why don’t you ask her and get the information straight from the ____ mouth?

17. The witness admitted to being intoxicated. I’d take his testimony with a ____ of salt.

18. I think we got our wires ____. That story wasn’t about Bryan, it was about Brett.

19. Stop beating around the ____ and answer my question.

20. My boss told me I’d be fired if I didn’t work this Saturday. I’m going to call his ____ and call out sick.

21. My boss is pretty hands off. Sometimes we go the entire day without ____ base.

22. I went out to dinner with a large group of native English speakers. It was fun, but I couldn’t get a word in ____.

23. This restaurant is so good that they don’t need to advertise. People find out about the place by word of ____.

24. I’m glad your mother’s surgery went well. Please ____ me posted on how she’s doing.

25. On my last day at work, I’m going to get some things off my ____. It’ll be good to tell people how I really feel.

26. Saying you’re fluent in French might be ____ the truth a bit. You took two semesters in college and went to Paris once.

27. I once asked a woman when her baby was due, and she wasn’t pregnant. I’ll never put my ____ in my mouth like that again.

28. I’m just ____ your leg. There weren’t really sharks swimming in the streets of Miami after the hurricane.

29. Management is going to lay some people off. Keep it under your ____, though. No one is supposed to know

30. I’ve been meaning to drop my friend Marty a ____ . I haven’t heard from him in years.

For more practice, see the Practice Exercise section of the site.