Vocabulary – How to Laugh in English!

by Melanie on January 28, 2010

(Photo by falsalama)

Laughing in your language is not the same as laughing in English!

In English, the sound people make when they laugh is written as ha ha ha!

You can use two or more ha in a row to show you are laughing:

Ha ha!
Ha ha ha!
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

However, one ha does not represent laughter. One ha is used when you want to express satisfaction or victory, for example “Ha! I did it. You didn’t think I could do it, but I did!” or “Ha! I told you that would happen.”

 

Other written forms of laughter:

He he
He he he
hehehehehe
(*Remember, one he is a subject pronoun: He laughs!)

Tee hee
(*this is more of a giggle!)

Internet shorthand:
LOL! = laugh out loud
ROFL = rolling on the floor laughing
LMAO = laughing my a** off (swear word for bum!)

 

Over the past couple of years, I’ve seen various ways students laugh in their own language:

jejejejeje!
kkkkkkkk!
rrsrsrsrsrsrsrsrs
ejejejejejejejejejeje
jajajajajajaja
kekekekeke

These are JUST LETTERS in English! They have absolutely NOT meaning in English. No one will understand that this is supposed to be laughter.

 

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joyce Vieira May 21, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Very nice! A way people use to laugh on the web here in Brazil is "huahuhauhuhauha". They use many letters together to show they are laughing! =)

Kisses, Joyce.

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2 abdo May 22, 2010 at 6:18 am

Thanks, as I know that "jajajajaja" is used by the spanish people to show that they are laughing

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3 Joseph S. Alcântara September 18, 2011 at 7:44 pm

I liked to much. Here, in Brazil, when we are texting, we put kkkkkkkkkkkkkkk to laugh

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4 Melanie September 18, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Hi, Joseph!

Actually, that's why I decided to write this post – so many Brazilians were typing 'kkkkkk' that I had to let them know it meant nothing in English!

= )

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5 Hussain April 10, 2012 at 3:30 am

so nice , i love it

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Melanie 6 Melanie April 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Great! Thank you.

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7 Soar Addie July 19, 2012 at 10:17 am

Well, that is just something that’s agreed upon. I don’t think anyone can learn to laugh someone else’s laugh.

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8 Yasemin August 27, 2012 at 8:36 am

Hello Teacher Melanie,
This is my way of laughing: kekeke
:D

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Melanie 9 Melanie August 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Hi, Yasemin!

Those letters mean nothing in English. English speakers will not know that you are using those letters as laughter.

= )

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10 djalloul August 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm

hellow my coach melanie,
okay, now i think we use this way of laughing here in our country heh heh heh hei heh heh heh hei……
thank you very much.

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Melanie 11 Melanie August 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Hi, Djalloul!

In English, ‘heh’ has a different meaning, so you have to be careful when you write/type ‘heh’ in English!

‘Heh’ is an interjection, but it’s only a half-laugh! It’s a very weak form of laughing. It says to the reader that you don’t really think something is funny. I wouldn’t use it in English!

= )

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12 fi October 2, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Hello :)

My friend asked me, why is it ‘play a tennis, play a golf’? While it is ‘play soccer, play basketball’. What’s the difference when there is and there isn’t an article ‘a’ in those clauses, Miss?

My other question, how do English native speakers express it when they’re trying to motivate/give support themselves or others, is it “Stay strong”, “Keep spirit”, or..?
Thank you in advance :) I’ll be waiting for your reply..

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Melanie 13 Melanie October 8, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Hi, Fi!

I am happy to help as many English learners as possible, but the comments here on my blog should be related to the posts. This post is about ‘How to Laugh in English’! and as you can see, all the comments here are about laughter.

If you’d like to ask a question about articles or sports, please look for a related post in the Vocabulary or Grammar sections:
http://www.englishteachermelanie.com/vocabulary/
http://www.englishteachermelanie.com/grammar/

If you can’t find a post related to your question, you can ask questions on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

Best regards,
Melanie
= )

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14 Shirley October 18, 2012 at 9:18 pm

We say: haha or hehe or cici in Chinese to express the laugh.

By the way, I like your blogs very much. I’ll follow you to improve my english.

Thank you very much.

Shirley

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15 ambren November 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm

thats nice hehehhhahahahhhohohohohhahahehoh

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16 jhon November 8, 2012 at 1:36 pm

i am colombian and we use to write jajajajajajajaja and jejejejejejeje but sometimjes jejeje is very sarcastic adn jajajajajajajaja is because its very hilarious or too funy.
see ya teacher

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17 khalid khan December 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm

i am pakistani, we use hahaha…,and really when I read I surly laugh
\

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18 khalid khan December 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Hello, my best teacher MELANIE I am proud of you,, you may be the best teacher of world by this noble work

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19 Michael January 28, 2013 at 10:15 am

Interesting! Haha and Hehe, they are the same as in Chinese! ^_^

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20 binyam February 24, 2013 at 7:01 am

The way we laugh in Ethiopia?No sound.we finish it in our stomach.

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21 umair Ahmed March 28, 2013 at 4:47 am

Dear sir
I m interesting this websits. And please send the daily words send me.
Thanking to u
Umair Ahmed

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22 vindy April 27, 2013 at 12:58 am

Dear teacher Melanie,

Thank you so much,this is very helpful for us to learn proper English.

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23 khaled June 17, 2013 at 8:27 am

hahahaha :D u know we in egypt laugh like that .. hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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24 Luiz Carlos June 22, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Hi Melanie, my name is Luiz Carlos. I’m from Brazil and I live inJoinville, Santa Catarina – SC. Nice to meet you.
I’m a new student and I hope learn English with you.
Sorry, but my English is bad.

Hugs,
Thank you.

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25 Salim June 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm

People in Morocco use “hhhhhhhhhhhhhh” to laughing

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26 Ramy October 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm

the same in Tunisia :D

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27 shayan July 30, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Hi Melanie
It’s a really good way to make people interested in English and show them how to speak and continue their learning process to get the hang of it,one of the my wishes is to become master in English like a native speaker,like you but I totally know it takes much time and also needs practice a lot… I just wanted to appreciate you about all the efforts you have done and you will do ….
I’m from Iran and people here laugh in this way ha ha ha like your country …
Thanks :)

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28 Aris September 20, 2013 at 9:45 pm

We,Indonesian people are very common use wkwkwkwk.

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29 Lari December 11, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Hi Melanie

What about lol to express the laughing.

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30 abed January 4, 2014 at 3:05 pm

I liked much.

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31 anant January 8, 2014 at 1:00 am

I am Indonesian,,,,,,some of people in Indonesia use wkwkwkwk to express the laughing but some use ckckckckckckckckckc :D

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32 Fernanda March 24, 2014 at 10:19 am

in Brazil it is “HAUEHAUEHAUEHUAHEUH” or “HUEHUEHUE BRBR” xD

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