5

Which is the correct way to mention the idea of jokes played in a comedy serial:

I enjoy watching my family members laughing at the jokes cracked in the soap opera.

or:

I enjoy watching my family members laughing at the jokes played in the soap opera.

I was just describing the reason why I like to watch TV with my family members: So I had to choose any one of the above two sentences. The complete description that I used is as follows: I like to watch serial along with my family members as in this case we are able to relish it more. For instance, if we are watching a comedy serial then we enjoy by repeating the funny lines. I especially enjoy watching my family members laughing at the jokes cracked in the soap opera.

So, I know what the word means. I just need to know how to use it so it sounds natural.

  • 1
    I have never heard the expression "to watch serial" - in my experience the phrase would always be "watch serials" or "watch television", but this may be highly region- and dialect-specific. – Darren Ringer Aug 14 '17 at 17:15
  • @darrenringer So how do mention the idea of watching a specific serial? – abhijeet pathak Aug 15 '17 at 1:49
  • 1
    Pretty much like that... "I like to watch a serial", "if we are watching a comedy serial", etc. – Darren Ringer Aug 15 '17 at 12:47
  • @darrenringer oh, it was a mistake in my question. I have just corrected it. – abhijeet pathak Aug 16 '17 at 3:47
8

The correct verb is "cracked", or simply "told" (to crack a joke = to tell a joke). But in this particular sentence it is best to leave out that verb, because it does not add any meaning, and it makes the sentence feel too wordy. Similarly, the use of the precise terms "family members" and "soap opera" makes the sentence feel overly scientific. More natural would be:

I enjoy seeing my family laughing at the jokes on the show.

Note that one always laughs at things, never "on" them.

Also note the difference between "watch" and "see". To watch something means to deliberately stare at it, focusing your attention on it. To see something can be accidental. You watch the show, meaning that is your main focus, but you merely see your family around you, perhaps occasionally looking over at them. If you say that you "watch" your family, it suggests that you spend more time looking at them than at the television.

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    This is the more natural way of stating it. laughing at the jokes in the show would be better. Jokes are not on the show, they are in it. – Nick Gammon Aug 14 '17 at 3:21
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    Or in the case of Big Bang Theory there are no jokes in the show, and the joke is on the audience. But I digress... – Vocoder Aug 14 '17 at 4:00
24

To play a (practical) joke versus to crack a joke.

To "play a (practical) joke", you do something that tricks a person. For example, exchanging salt for sugar, so that they put salt in their tea instead of sugar.

To "crack a joke" is to say something humorous to make people laugh, usually a brief remark or "one-liner".

We laugh at jokes, not on them.

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    So the correct sentence is: I enjoy watching my family members laughing at the jokes cracked in the soap opera. – abhijeet pathak Aug 13 '17 at 18:15
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    @abhijeet pathak: I'm not familiar with funny soap-operas. In the ones you watch, are they playing tricks and practical jokes on each other, or saying funny things? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 14 '17 at 10:53
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    @abhijeetpathak While perfectly intelligible, that sounds awkward to my ear. As others have suggested 'laughing at the jokes in the show' sounds more natural. – Strawberry Aug 14 '17 at 12:12
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo They are saying funny things. So as per your explanation to crack a joke is applicable here. – abhijeet pathak Aug 14 '17 at 17:33
  • 1
    @abhijeet pathak: You should feel free to write it as two words or as a hyphenated word. For many speakers, it has achieved compound status. The genre tends to deal in melodrama not laughter. I believe fewer than 1% of native speakers of AmE would refer to Friends as a 'soap opera'. Most would call it a sitcom (situation comedy). – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 15 '17 at 11:03

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