Bohnanza: become the richest farmer by trading beans!
In this episode of “Board Gaming with English” Dustin and Rich introduce a card-trading game called “Bohnanza.” In this game, you are a bean farmer trying to plant, harvest, and sell your beans. This is a great game for practicing English conversation skills like negotiation and refusing. Let us know what you think of the game in the comments below!
Thank you to Rio Grande Games for their wonderful contribution to the board game and tabletop community by making an enjoyable and educational game.
Thank you to Joshua Empyre for the “Victory Music” in our “Keywords” segment.
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Where Can you Play Bohnanza?
You can purchase “Bohnanza” by Rio Grande Games through our Amazon affiliate link:
Purchasing through, our affiliate link not only supports the board game developers but provides us with a small compensation to keep bringing you more board games to help with improving your English.
Listener Objective (Learner + Lecture)
If you are a student studying English, after listening to this episode you will be able to…
…negotiate a deal for trading beans (or other negotiations).
…use basic grammar structures to negotiate a deal, refuse a deal, or accept a deal.
… use some key phrases and vocabulary needed to play the game.
To start, take a look at a dialogue you might hear in the game:
Dustin: Hey Rich, you should definitely take my coffee bean and give me your red bean and you will get a coin.
Rich: No way! I don’t think that’s a good idea. How about you give me two coffee beans for my one red bean.
Dustin: No, I don’t think I can accept that offer either. Let’s make a deal. I’ll give you a green bean for a red bean.
Rich: No way! That’s not a good deal either.
Dustin: Alright no deal, I’ll trade with someone else.
Now, let’s look at the grammar structures of negotiating:
[Address the person] + you [could] + give me your + [type of bean] + for my [type of bean] + because + [reason].
Hey Dustin, you could give me your coffee bean for my red bean because we will both get a coin.
Let’s look at another grammar strucure:
[Address the person] + you [should] + [level of persuasion/certainity ] + take my + [type of bean] + and give me your [type of bean] + because + [reason].
Hey Rich, you should definitely take my coffee bean and give me your red bean, because then you will get a coin.
First, you can make the offer and tell Rich what we should do. You should take my coffee bean and give me your red bean. Then I tell Rich why, because then you will get a coin. This is a good deal for both of us.
Some other ways you can persuade people:
It will be in your best interests to trade me your red bean for my coffee bean because you will get a coin.
It will be a good idea to trade with me because we can both get a coin.
Some simple expressions using the verb give and take:
You can say I will give you my coffee bean for your red bean.
I will take your red bean if you take my coffee bean.
Now, what if you don’t like the deal? Here is how to refuse a deal:
No, I don’t think that’s a good idea. Or
Let’s make a different deal. Or
No that’s not a fair deal.
I don’t think I can accept that offer.
I can’t make that deal.
I don’t like that deal.
Take a look at 12 different common phrases to know for the game:
1. You should definitely take my coffee bean and give me your red bean because then you will get a coin.
2. You should take my coffee bean and give me your red bean.
3. It will be in your best interests to trade me your red bean for my coffee bean.
4. It will be a good idea to trade with me because we will both get a coin.
5. I will give you my coffee bean, if you give me your red bean.
6. I will take your red bean, if you take my coffee bean.
7. No, I don’t think that’s a good idea. How about we …
8. Let’s make a deal.
9. No that’s not a fair deal.
10. I don’t think I can accept that offer.
11. I can’t make that deal.
12. I don’t like that deal.
Finally, you can use these expressions and grammar structures in other situations:
[Address the person] + you + could + [the offer] and + I + would + [the other offer].
Robert, you could buy two and I would give you a discount.
[Adress the person] + [subject/person to make the offer] + could/should + [the offer] + and [subject/other person to make the offer] + could/would + give you [the other offer].
Dear Rich, your company could offer us a discount on your services and we could give you a lot more business. This would be a good deal for both of us.
If you are a teacher teaching English, after listening to this episode you will be able to…
…teach and use a fun, bean trading game to engage your students in the classroom.
…help your students develop the language skills needed to negotiate.
…download and learn to use the resources provided below.
This game requires the Bohnanza card game by Rio Grande Games. We recommend reviewing some negotiation skills, tactics, and grammar structures with your students before playing the game. You can check out the learner listener objectives to see some grammar structures from the episode. This is a great game to incentivize speaking because students are required to talk to others if they want to win the game. The best negotiator is more likely to win. It is also great to encourage students to interact with less talkative students because you must talk to others to make a deal to become the richest bean farmer.
First, take a look at the different types of beans in the game: