Italian Test on Idiomatic Expressions (idioms)

It’s fundamental to know idiomatic expressions to understand their meaning, in fact, there are no other methods to figure it out. Therefore, today we are going to test you on Italian idiomatic expressions so that you can challenge yourselves and see what your level is! Brace yourselves, because it won’t be easy, but don’t despair if mistakes are made, we will give you the right answers. Thus, at any rate, you’re going to earn something!

The most difficult idiomatic expressions 

Let’s get it started! What’s the meaning of…

1) Non avere peli sulla lingua

A) Being very nice
B) Being very honest

The right answer is… B!
Example: “Mario non ha peli sulla lingua: dice sempre quello che pensa!” (Mario doesn’t mince his words: he always says what he is thinking!)

2) Fare orecchie da mercante

A)  Pretending to not hear or understand
B)  Being great dealers/businessmen

The right answer is… A
Example: “Quando Rocco non vuole far qualcosa, fa sempre orecchie da mercante!” (When Rocco doesn’t want to do something, he turns a deaf ear!)

The following expressions are quite renowned:

3) Cercare un ago in un pagliaio

A) Looking for something very difficult to find
B) Being very greedy

The right answer is… A!
Example: “Cercare una monetina da 1 centesimo in un bidone dell’immondizia è come cercare un ago in un pagliaio!” (Looking for a 1 cent coin in a garbage can is like looking for a needle in a haystack!)

4) Lavarsene le mani

A) Being obsessed with hygiene
B) Being unconcerned about something

The right answer is… B!
Example: “Non voglio nessuna responsabilità nel tuo progetto: me ne lavo le mani!” (I won’t take any responsibility in your project: I’m washing my hands of this!)

We are halfway, but be careful: now things start to get more difficult…

5) Essere giù di corda

A) Having a small amount of physical energy and being disheartened.
B) Having limited economic resources

The right answer is… A!
Example: “L’estate sono sempre giù di corda: forse perché fa troppo caldo!” (On summer I’m always out of sorts: probably because it’s too warm!)

6) Avere le ali ai piedi

A) Being people with a foot fetish
B) Being very fast

The right answer is… B!
Example: “Rosalba ha davvero le ali ai piedi: riesce a fare 2 chilometri in 15 minuti!” (Rosalba has, for sure, some spring in his step: she can run 2 kilometers in 15 minutes)

Speaking of Rosalba, don’t miss the vlog we made together in Polignano a Mare!

We are almost done:

7) Andare coi piedi di piombo

A) Being very angry
B) Being very cautious

The right answer is… B!
Example: “Ogni volta che faccio qualcosa di nuovo, vado sempre coi piedi di piombo!” (Every time I try something new, I walk on eggshells!)

8) Farsi in quattro

A) Working very hard
B) Sleeping for a long time

The right answer is… A!
Example: “Per fare i video su LearnAmo e le lezioni su Skype con i miei studenti, mi faccio sempre in quattro!” (In order to make videos on LearnAmo and lessons on Skype with my students, I always bend over backwards)

9) Avere un diavolo per capello

A) Being bald
B) Being very upset, angry.

The right answer is… B!
Example: “Il capo deve avere un diavolo per cappello oggi: urla contro chiunque gli passi davanti!” (The boss is seeing red today: he’s yelling at anyone who crosses his path!)

Ah, before we see the last expression, we remind you that if  you want to know the alternatives to
sono arrabbiato” (I’m angry), you can watch the video related to this topic!

The last expression is:

10) Fare la gatta morta

A) Pretending to be harmless, but actually hiding a devious personality
B) Being vegan pretending to be carnivore

The right answer is… A!
Example: “Angela è una ragazza affidabile, non fa mai la gatta morta!” (Angela is a trustworthy girl, she never plays dumb!)

We made a very useful lesson with Angela, for those who want to speak properly, the dialogue at the hotel. Don’t miss it!

Alright! At this point you just have to write in the comment section how many right answers you gave and which your favorite expression is! Please, be honest because there’s no shame in making mistakes, after all we are here to learn!

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