My daughter's teacher (a Canadian in Italy) gave the class an exercise. They had to choose among make, do, take, run, keep and give, and insert the correct response in front of "a laugh". We are American and we were mystified. Is here a correct choice?

  • 2
    In google Ngrams, "make a laugh" is the clear winner, but in the time frame 1820-1900. Sep 23 '11 at 11:23
  • 2
    The 'correct' choice would appear to be None of the above Sep 23 '11 at 13:49

I believe they're looking for give a laugh.

Though I wouldn't use that phrase by itself, I've frequently seen usages like "he gave a hearty laugh."

  • 3
    I should add that the exercise itself might be flawed. I've taught English abroad and often saw (and still see) mistakes in the textbooks themselves, as they're written by non-native speakers.
    – user13141
    Sep 23 '11 at 8:25
  • 4
    I agree. I think "give a laugh" is literary, rather than vernacular.
    – Colin Fine
    Sep 23 '11 at 11:13

I agree with the two previous posters that only ‘give’ comes close.

One the teacher might have inclued is ‘have’, as in

You’re ‘avin’ a larf, incha?

  • 1
    Very British but thank you...I had a laugh when I read it.
    – Susan
    Sep 23 '11 at 15:04

Something hilarious might 'give' you a laugh.

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