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to spill the beans


Click below to listen to the phrase.

Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) to make a mess

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b) to tell a secret

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To ‘spill the beans’, means to give away a secret or a surprise.

French translation

vendre la mèche

How NOT to translate : *renverser les haricots

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Examples in context

‘French chef Vaussion reveals presidential tastes’

’The retiring head chef of the Elysee Palace spills the beans on the eating habits of French presidents. Bernard Vaussion described the presidents he served as "gourmands" but singled out Jacques Chirac as having a particularly fine palate. Mr Chirac, who once openly criticised British cuisine, enjoyed calf’s head, sauerkraut and beer, the chef said. Nicolas Sarkozy did not eat cheese and Francois Hollande simply likes to eat, according to Mr Vaussion.’

BBC News, 31st Oct. 2013

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’Newspaper review : US spy leak ’most important ever’ ’

Tuesday’s papers are full of further debate on Edward Snowden - the former CIA computer expert who spilled the beans on the US Prism surveillance programme. The Daily Mail describes him as one of a new breed of whistleblower. Traditionally, spies who have leaked government secrets have remained in the shadows, the paper says..

BBC News, 11th June 2013

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Everyday usage

I am planning a surprise party for Nick. Please do not spill the beans !.

You have spilled the beans on how much he has spent !

c) to flow

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.


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