Let’s take a look in this lesson at sarcasm irony and jokes.

Sarcasm is often described as the lowest form of wit because it is not funny to the person to whom it is said.

What one person might think is harmless, another might find hurtful.

A sarcasm can be taunting or teasing, praising or cutting, certainly  mocking and derogatory.

Sarcasm is taken to mean the opposite of what is actually said and is a specific kind of irony.

The tone of how it is said will determine in the mind of the recipient whether it is well meant or intended to be sarcastic.

Here are a mixed-bag of expressions which could be intepreted as sarcasm, irony or as a joke.

Practice saying both the comment and the response with a different tone.


COMMENT                Are you being sarcastic?

RESPONSE                Only if you want me to be.


COMMENT                How are you today?

RESPONSE                I’m perfect, thank you.  Can’t you see?


COMMENT                Where are you from?

RESPONSE                What a silly question.  Planet Earth of course!


COMMENT                And where do you live?

RESPONSE                I live in a house.  Don’t you?


COMMENT                So what’s your address?

RESPONSE                That’s none of your business.

COMMENT                Anyway, thank you for seeing me today.

RESPONSE                Well, why not?  I’ve got nothing better to do.


COMMENT                I’m sorry I stepped on your flowers earlier

RESPONSE                So am I.  Do you have a problem with your eyesight?


COMMENT                No but I did fall down the stairs last night.

RESPONSE                Golly gosh!  Didn’t you hurt yourself?


COMMENT                A bit.  I’m sorry for being late.  It couldn’t be helped.

RESPONSE                Don’t worry.  You’re in time for the next English lesson.


COMMENT                Look at him over there with her

RESPONSE                Yeah.  They’re like chalk and cheese


COMMENT                You look absolutely amazing in those clothes

RESPONSE                Are you kidding me?


COMMENT                Crikey, what’s what awful smell?

RESPONSE                That’s the perfume I’m wearing.  You like it?


COMMENT                They tell me Rome wasn’t built in a day

RESPONSE                Tell me something new


COMMENT                I saw this graffiti on a wall.  It said ‘Jesus Saves’

RESPONSE                Yeah and so does Peter Schmeichel at Manchester United


COMMENT                The earth is round, you know

RESPONSE                What a genius!  Another Einstein in our midst!


COMMENT                What do you think about my story?

RESPONSE                I wouldn’t give up the day job if I were you


COMMENT                I think it will snow tonight

RESPONSE                Did I ask for your opinion?


COMMENT                I couldn’t work out the solution to the problem

RESPONSE                Not the brightest spark around, are you?


COMMENT                Would you like to go out with me?

RESPONSE                Not even if you were the last person left on earth


COMMENT                I have had plastic surgery done on my face.  What do you think?

RESPONSE                I would ask the doctor for a refund.


COMMENT                I’m ambitious. I want to manage my own business

RESPONSE                You couldn’t manage a pub crawl in a brewery


COMMENT                Excuse me, is anybody sitting here?

RESPONSE                Are you blind?  You should see an optician


COMMENT                I thought you said you loved me

RESPONSE                In your wildest dreams, sweet pea.


COMMENT                Hello darling, I’m back

RESPONSE                I thought I had got rid of the rubbish last week.


COMMENT                Do you love me?

RESPONSE                Is that a rhetorical question?


COMMENT                Have you got anything to say?

RESPONSE                (Silence)


There are, of course, many more which could be written but these are just a sample to encourage your practice of speaking English.

Enjoy the lesson!



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