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Question
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Identify the meaning of the phrase/word :
He has been chasing his tail all day.
a) Following his one steps.
b) Going around in circles.
c) Spending a lot of time and energy in vain.
d) Exerting a lot of effort.

Answer Verified Verified
Hint: The underlined phrase is “chasing his tail” which means to “keep on doing something without any progress”.

Complete answer:
The underlined phrase can also be defined as an action that is ineffectual and does not lead to progress. It refers to how a dog can exhaust itself by chasing its own tail. For example, You are just chasing your tail at this point, you should take some rest.
Now, let us examine all the given options and find out the correct answer :
Option ‘a’ is Following his one footsteps. It is an incorrect option as it does not have the required meaning.
Option ‘b’ is Going around circles. It is also an incorrect option as the phrase doesn’t mean this, it means to do something in vain.
Option ‘c’ is Spending a lot of time and energy in vain. This is the only correct option as it has the required meaning as of the given phrase. Here, ‘vain' means ‘unproductive’.
Option ‘d’ is Exerting a lot of effort. This is also not the correct answer as there is no mention of if the “exertion” is productive or not.
As we have analyzed all the given options, we can easily figure out the correct answer. Here, the meaning of the given phrase is – spending a lot of time and energy (doing something) in vain. So, the correct answer is “Option c”.

Note:
Phrases generally have a metaphoric meaning behind them, so you have to be very precise with the knowledge of phrases as all the other options act as plausible distractions.