Imagine in a group of people who you feel shy to be too friendly with, something makes you laugh too much in the manner that you cannot control your laughter and it makes you feel shy, however you cannot avoid laughing loudly. How can one apologize at the time of laughing and what can one say in such a moment?

I'm sorry; It made me laugh badly; I cannot stop my laughing.

I guess the above sentence would sound idiomatic in this sense, but I have no idea of it's being natural.

  • 1
    Leave out "it made me laugh badly". It makes no sense: how can you laugh badly? In spoken English, you would contract "cannot" to "can't". You don't need "my" for yourself: if you were talking about somebody else, you would insert "him/her". So, altogether, you have "I'm sorry, I can't stop laughing".
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 12:27
  • 1
    In natural speech, we drop the "I'm" in "I'm sorry" thus: "Sorry, I can't/couldn't stop laughing!" Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 17:15
  • @JavaLatte thank you too much. It was very helpful. :)
    – A-friend
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 7:15

3 Answers 3


I think what you have is possible, though it sounds a little formal, in my opinion.

There are some alternatives.

  1. laugh attack
    When you start randomly laughing or laughing at something and can't stop laughing.
    • I'm sorry. I'm having a laugh attack. I can't stop laughing.
  2. fit of laughter
    a sudden occurrence of laughing very much
    • I'm sorry. I'm having a fit of laughter. I can't stop laughing.
  3. giggles
    The uncontrollable surge of laughter that takes over and makes everything that was once worth a smirk seem [inexplicably] funny.
    • I'm sorry. I got the giggles. I can't stop laughing.
    • I'm sorry. (I'm having)/(I have) a bad case of the giggles. I can't stop laughing.
  • Great; but I would be thankful if you could explain a bit more about the difference between number 1 and 2.
    – A-friend
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 7:20
  • Sure, but can you please specify which part or what you would like me to explain more.
    – Em.
    Commented Aug 5, 2016 at 9:22
  • Max, actually I cannot differentiate between "randomly laughing" and "sudden occurrence of laughing".
    – A-friend
    Commented Aug 5, 2016 at 11:05
  • 1
    I would say they are virtually the same. Here randomly has more of a colloquial meaning of "unpredictably", "suddenly". So I'm strongly inclined to say they mean the same thing. I would say that "randomly laughing" is a casual way of saying "sudden occurrence of laughter".
    – Em.
    Commented Aug 5, 2016 at 23:14

If you're a little embarrassed after your laugh attack, you might say:

  • Sorry, I couldn't stop laughing!
  • Sorry, that really made me laugh!
  • I usually don't laugh that hard, but what you said really made me laugh!

You may also hear of phrases like:

  • laugh attack
  • You had me in stitches
  • I had a giggle fit

Which all mean laughing a lot. I think the very first phrase I mentioned would be appropriate for any occasion.


And to help stop yourself laughing, bite the inside of your lower lip. This has often helped me, and it doesn't hurt too much.

I think it is the pain that stops one laughing, so perhaps inflicting pain on oneself elsewhere would work too, though I haven't tried it. One could bite the inside of one's cheek, or pinch the side of one's leg.

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