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Last updated at 13:34 BST, Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Don't make me laugh!

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Feifei overheard a conversation at the water cooler: the boss is going to give everyone a free holiday. But Jen thinks it's too good to be true...

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The script for this programme

Jennifer: Hi I'm Jennifer and this is The English We Speak. In this programme, we teach you about English words or phrases which you might not find in the dictionary. Here comes Feifei.

Feifei: Hello Jen, hi everyone. Hey, Jen, I have some news for you.

Jennifer: Oh yes, what is it?

Feifei: I was standing next to the water cooler, when I heard the boss talking. He said that he is going to give everyone at work a holiday! For free!

Jennifer: A free holiday?

Feifei: Yes, I'm sure that's what he said.

Jennifer: Oh, don't make me laugh!

Feifei: It does sound too good to be true. Jen said: "Don't make me laugh." In English, this is something you can say when you think something is not going to happen.

Jennifer: And I don't think the boss is going to give us a holiday, especially a free one. The boss giving us special treats...? Don't make me laugh.

Feifei: Let's hear some more examples of this phrase.

  • A: I heard that Justin Bieber is going to play a gig at our Christmas party!
  • B: Don't make me laugh - he's far too famous to come here.
  • A: Do you think that the Scotland football team could win the World Cup one day?
  • B: Don't make me laugh - they've never won anything!


Feifei: So, 'don't make me laugh' is a great way to say that you think something won't happen.

Jennifer: Like our boss giving away free holidays. So I wonder what he did mean?

Feifei: Oooh, here's an email from him. It says: "I'm going away for two weeks. You will all need to work extra hard during this time, and don't call me - I want a work-free holiday."

Jennifer: You see? I told you he wouldn't give away free holidays. He wants a work-free holiday: that means he doesn't want to think about work while he's away.

Feifei: Oh well. It seems I didn't hear him properly. It was nice while it lasted!

Jennifer: So, are you planning to work 'extra hard' while he's away?

Feifei: Don't make me laugh! I'm not working hard, I'm going to take advantage and have a relaxing two weeks without the boss here!

Jennifer: That sounds like a good plan. Join us again for another edition of The English We Speak from BBC Learning English. Bye for now!

Feifei: Bye!

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