Going Shopping: carrot, cucumber, beans, tomato

Idioms with vegetables

Idiom Explanation Example
dangle a carrot (in front of someone) encourage or persuade someone by offering an incentive or a reward All you have to do is dangle a carrot and he will accept the job.
a carrot top a person with red hair The baby is so cute, she’s a carrot top like her mum.
cool as a cucumber be calm and collected The situation was stressful, but Laura was cool as a cucumber.
be full of beans have a lot of energy The children are always full of beans on Christmas morning.
spill the beans reveal a secret We wanted to share our big news ourselves, but Nadia had already spilled the beans.
a bean counter a person whose job involves accounting My job isn’t that interesting, I’m just a bean counter in the planning department.
tomato, tomato
(pronounced: to-may-to, to-mah-to)
what difference does it make?
(only used in spoken language)
—Shall we use the green plates or the blue ones?
—Tomato, tomato.
display incorrect answers

Exercises C1

Complete the sentences with the words below. Use each word once.

carrot – cucumber – bean – beans x2

  1. You said you had some exciting news? Come on, spill the  .
  2. I was freaking out, but luckily Jess was cool as a   about the whole thing.
  3. You’re energetic this morning! Why are you so full of  ?
  4. They’re going to have to dangle a pretty big   to get Margot to come back to the firm.
  5. We were excited about this project, but the   counters said that it would be too expensive.

Choose the correct idiom.

  1. I have red hair, my nickname at school was …
  2. —Should I transfer the money to you or your partner?
    —It’s a joint account, …
  3. Tom is an accountant. He’s a …
  4. So the secret is out already? Who …
  5. Ben never gets stressed. Whatever the situation, he’s always …
  6. I slept for 12 hours last night so this morning I’m …
  7. If we want this candidate to accept our offer, we have to …

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