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Last Updated October 18, 2021, 10:13 pm
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Idioms with laugh, cry and tears

1 In pairs, complete the gaps with laugh, cry or tears. Which phrases do you already know? Which can you guess?

to cry

To produce tears as the result of a strong emotion, such as unhappiness or pain I could hear someone crying in the next room. "There, there, don't cry," she said. We all laughed until we cried. She cried bitter tears when she got the letter. He cried for joy when he heard that his son had been found alive and well. to cry yourself to sleep cry yourself to sleep to cry for a long time until you start to sleep
  1. a shoulder to _____ on
  2. to be in floods of _____
  3. to have the last _____
  4. to _____ your eyes out
  5. to be bored to _____
  6. it's no _____ing ing matter
  7. to burst out _____ing
  8. to burst into _____
  9. to _____ your head off
  10. to be close to _____


  1. one-upmanship when someone does or says something in order to prove that they are better than someone else.
    when someone does or says something in order to prove that they are better than someone else
  2. to have the last laugh to finally get an advantage from an argument or disagreement, when it seemed that you would not.
  3. elegy a sad poem or song, especially remembering someone who has died or something in the past Gray's 'Elegy in a Country Churchyard' is a famous English poem.
2 Replace the phrase in bold with one of the idioms with laugh, cry and tears. There may be more than one possibility. Take care of the grammar.
  1. I'm not sure you realise just how serious the parking situation here is. It's a very serious problem .
  2. I don't know what the matter was, but when I went past the room, she was crying a lot. poor Linda!
  3. Despite the bad reviews from the critics, the show was a great success, so Pinter was proved right in the end.
  4. When I asked Bill where Tara was, he began crying suddenly.
  5. Jenny was very upset when her father died, and Tom was very sympathetic. I think he gave her support when she was depressed.
  6. I really enjoyed taking my nephew to the cinema. He laughed and laughed and laughed at all the jokes.
  7. We tried to stay serious, but when we saw Ella wearing that ridiculous hat, we couldn't help it: We looked at each other and suddenly started laughing.
  8. The way John read the elegy was very moving - many people listening were nearly crying.
  9. It's such a sad story - I cried and cried at the end.
  10. I wish our teachers had made more effort at school to make maths lessons more interesting. I was always completely bored.
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