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I'm doing some exercises online, I have to deal with this question.

He has a one ......... mind as all he ever talks about is money, money, money.

(a) track
(b) road
(c) path
(d) rail

How am I going to be able to decide which option to choose? Is the answer a set idiom or can it be different in other circumstances?

thank you for your help

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  • Have you checked thesaurus dictionaries?
    – M.A.R.
    Jan 22 '15 at 11:52
  • @MARamezani Yes I did. But in some examples I don't know how to choose between them. Jan 22 '15 at 12:13
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    Gianni, I did an edit to your question so that it becomes acceptable in here. Please avoid asking Qs in a way that seem answerable with a dictionary.
    – M.A.R.
    Jan 22 '15 at 12:28
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    @MARamezani thanks for your help, now it is more clear. If the options are really random, the right answers come up only as idiomatic expression. I need to know the expression, the meaning is hardly enough to get the right one, right? Jan 22 '15 at 14:21
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    Right. The question's intention is only the idiom behind the sentence.
    – M.A.R.
    Jan 22 '15 at 16:56
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A person whose thoughts always turn to a particular subject (e.g. sex, money, football, whatever) regardless of the current topic of conversation is said (colloquially) to have a "one-track mind".

A person who finds a sexual double entendre in nearly everything people say could be said to have a one-track mind. Austin Powers has a one-track mind. :-)

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Idiomatic meanings can be hard to find in a dictionary. Sometimes they are listed under one of the main words, sometimes they are listed as a full and separate entry.

For example, if you look up mind in Collins, you'll see idioms such as:

  • blow someone's mind
  • give someone a piece of one's mind
  • make up one's mind

and if you look up track, you'll find:

  • the right track
  • the wrong track
  • off the beaten track

In Collins, though, one-track mind is not listed – probably because one-track gets its own entry.

Macmillan lists it slightly differently, though; it has an entry for one-track mind.

Sometimes you'll find the meaning of the idiom within the definition of one of its key words; other times you'll find the idiom listed by itself. In the case of a test question, when you don't know what the right answer is, you might have to try several possibilities before you stumble across the right one.

OneLook is an especially good on-line resource for this, because it searches several dictionaries for a word or phrase. For example, when I enter one road mind into OneLook, it apologizes and informs me that no matches were found, but when I enter one track mind, it finds matches in four dictionaries.

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