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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #124278: Vocabulary: laughter, humour
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Idioms | Introducing someone | United Kingdom [Change theme]
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    > Double-click on words you don't understand


    Vocabulary: laughter, humour


     

    Dealing with HUMOUR, especially British HUMOUR is no easy task... "British Humour" is most certainly one of the most mocked concepts in the French language (and in many European  countries). The fact is that very few French people understand British Humour and appreciate it... which is a pity, isn't it? 

    HUMOUR: the ability to find things funny, the way in which people see that some things are funny, or the quality of being funny.

    HUMOUR is "cultural". It is linked with specific sensitivities, values, traditions, habits and of course with the language. That's why people often speak about  a "national humour" as opposed to a "universal" one:  "British humour", "Belgium humour", "Swiss humour", etc. 

    This lesson isn't going to deal with humour... ( it would be a guaranteed flop... ) but simply to quote the componants of Humour ... and as ever, give you the vocabulary which will enable you to participate when humour is used and perhaps appreciate...   

     

                        

                                                                 A mischievous jellyfish...                 

     

     Humour/ humor / humourous                             A humorist 
     To have a sense of humour   To have no sense of humour 
     Facetious                           A  prank/ a hoax 
     Jocular   Mischievous / mischievousness               

      TAKE  CARE of the "FAUX-AMIS !" (false friends)

    malicea desire to inflict harm or suffering on another: => malicious=  malevolent, spiteful.

     

    The different concepts at the basis of HUMOUR: 

     Irony  sarcasm 
     Deadpan                                self-deprecation              
     Innuendo  a pun 

    irony= the use of  words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of their literal or actual meaning. 

    sarcasm: a bitter statement that mocks or means the opposite of what is said. 

    deadpan:  a careful pretense of seriousness.

    self-deprecation: belittling or undervaluing oneself ; excessively modest.

    innuendo: an indirect hint, especially of an offensive or derogatory nature.

     

     

                                   

       "Do you want to talk about it?

        "It's not a problem..."

     

     A joke                          To joke about something 
     To tell a joke   To get the point of the joke  
     A pun  For a joke/ in jest (formal)                         
     To play a trick on sb   A spoonerism 
     A practical joke  A trick 
     To fool around/ about                                         To clown around/ about 

     

                                               

     

    Amusing/ entertaining                                                                      Uproarious                                                       

     To enjoy oneself

     To have a good time               

     To have fun

                   

     To do stg for fun

     To do stg for the fun of it                   

     Funny   just for a laugh of it

     

    - He can't take a joke (He doesn't understand jokes)

    - It's getting beyond a joke (That's not funny!)

    - He's a real comedian (He likes fooling around)

    - It's hilarious! (It's ever so funny!)

     

     

    The ingredient to handle humour is " NOT TO TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY", to know how to use "sarcasm" and "irony", always keeping in mind that the "good taste" of your joke is very important! (not to hurt people!) 

    It is also possible to use "plays on words" and "puns", using the ambiguous multiple meanings of huge numbers of words, phrasal verbs and idioms. Playing with words may be extremely exhilarating...  

    The higher your English level is, the easier British humour is to understand. You may find it hard to understand... Don't worry!     You're not alone!  

     

     



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    1. A three-year-old can be very and must be looked after carefully.



    2. «You must be careful with Billy. He keeps on his colleagues and not everyone appreciates.»



    3. Pupils keep on Lea's last name, which is quite irritating.Kids can be stupid.



    4. «Well Tim, if you hadn’t been in class, you wouldn’t have been punished, would you?»



    5. It may have been a good joke, but I don’t think I it, though everyone laughed. Can you give me a hint?»



    6. As he was approaching the classroom, the teacher heard an agitation, and he understood the students might be 'tough guys'. He said: 'I braced up for the confrontation and came in! Total silence...'



    7. «Come on Raul! Don’t be offended. You have to . Stay calm and laugh.It was a good and quite harmless one.»



    8. Most of his jokes are and people can’t help roaring with laughter.



    9. «That’s where you should have laughed, Cindy! Where’s your today?»



    10. At the party, the clowns really the kids who had simply forgotten they were starving before the cake arrived.











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