It is said that the British are not lucky with three things: the weather, cuisine and humor. Their subtle sense of humor has always been an occasion of discussion, and sometimes ridicule. We decided to keep (from discussing, of course) and have already told you earlier in the article «English humor» about the intricacies and peculiarities of English jokes. I just remind you that their main distinctive feature is the frequent use of irony, sarcasm, puns as essential tools. It is for this reason that kind of humor is called dry sence of humour (and even in Russian it sounds like a «dry sense of humor,» remember that this expression characterizes the humor is sarcastic, not its absence, as it might seem at first sight). But today is not about that, or rather, not only about this. I suggest you look into the words and expressions that we can use in speech, speaking about such an important phenomenon as humor:
Joke vs anecdote
Do not confuse these two words: joke — a joke, anecdote; anecdote — the story of life, not necessarily funny.
He was telling jokes all the time during the meeting. — Throughout the meeting, he told funny stories.
The book is full of anecdotes about his life in Africa. — The book contains many stories of his life in Africa.
What can «make» jokes?
- To crack / to make jokes — jokes.
- To tell a joke — tell a funny story (never say say a joke!).
- To play a joke (on somebody) — play a joke on someone.
- To get a joke — take a joke.
What are jokes?
- Private joke — a joke understandable to a narrow circle of people (in American English — inside joke).
- Practical joke — trick, prank.
- Dirty joke — color joke.
- Sick joke — a nasty joke.
What other «comic» expression is in English?
- You must be joking / you’ve got to be joking — you must be joking.
- It is a joke — to be absolutely useless, stupid.
The meeting was a joke! — The meeting was absolutely useless!
- To make a joke (out) of something — translate something in earnest.
He was not able to speak seriously about the matter and was making a joke out of it instead. — He could not talk seriously about the case, but only translate all a joke.
- Go / get / be beyond the joke — to stop being ridiculous.
It’s getting late and he is not at home. I am afraid the situation is getting beyond the joke. — It’s getting late, and it is not. I’m afraid that it’s not funny.
- Somebody’s idea of a joke — a colloquial expression that we use to talk about something that we do not find funny, witty.
If this is your idea of joke, I do not find it at all funny! — If you have such a joke, then I think this is not funny!
If you are not familiar with the subtle English humor, but today we have to catch up, but at the same time renewed their vocabulary Useful phrases and expressions of spoken English.
We will start our acquaintance with the popular British sketch show Big Train (By the way, the expression itself is a borrowing from the English language sketch — a miniature sketch — hence the name of the sketch show) with the famous British comedian Simon piebald in the title role.
I offer you a thumbnail titled Do you speak English?
So, imagine you are traveling your car and enjoy the spectacular views of the French countryside, and suddenly your car breaks down. What to do? Of course, immediately seek first English speaking local resident, and learn the way to the nearest service station. So let’s see how it managed the heroine of our miniatures.
Let’s look closely at what was useful and interesting in the video in terms of language and humor at the same time make English easier to understand for themselves:
- Of course we should not forget how to ask someone for help to sound polite, we can start a sentence with the phrase excuse ME — sorry:
Excuse me, do you speak English? — I’m sorry, you say in English?
- To break down — break. This phrasal verb, which proved to be indispensable in the history of our unfortunate heroine:
My car’s broken down. — My car broke down.
- I wonder if you could tell me … — start your sentence with the phrase, if you want to politely ask the interlocutor for any information:
I wonder if you could tell me where to find a garage. — Could you tell me where I can find a service station.
- Remember that the word garage has several options for translation:
- Service Station.
- That’s wasted on me — the expression means that what we did or said was useless, to waste means waste, ie our actions have not achieved the desired result. How Simon Peg used this phrase? When asked to tell where to find the girl’s service, he says:
Well, you know … that’s wasted on me. I do not … I do not understand what you’re saying. — You should not try, I still do not understand.
- Speaking about his scant knowledge of English, Simon says: I wish I had paid more attention to it. C Design I wish …, speaking about his regrets related to the past, we use time Past Perfect. More information about this topic, or to remember you in the article with the proposals I wish.
This is one of these things where I wish I’d paid more attention at school. — This is one of those subjects on which I should pay more attention in school.
- I’ll tell you what — this is a colloquial expression that can be translated as follows: this is what I think; that’s what I’ll tell you.
- To go down — it’s phrasal verb, which can have several meanings, but here the value of the next — move from one place to another.
If you go down that way, about half a mile is a village, there might be someone there who speaks English. — If you go down this road, half a mile to the village, maybe there is someone speaks in English.
- I’m so sorry I could not be of more help — it’s just a colloquial expression that can be translated as follows — I’m sorry, I’m no longer able to help.
- You never know — a colloquial expression that is used in those cases where we do not know for sure, but expect something good can happen.
- Another interesting expression — next time you are over — in this case the adverb over will be set in a particular place: the house, the city, etc.
Next time you’re over we’ll learn a bit of English for you. — Next time you’re here, we learn English a little bit for you.
- Please note the following couple of suggestions:
I can speak English! — So can I! — I speak English! — I, too!
Answering «me too» to affirmative sentence, use the structure So + auxiliary verb.
Well, I think that by viewing this video again, you look at it with new eyes and new words and grammatical constructions will seem familiar and understandable.