Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you like to tell jokes in English?

Do people always understand that you are joking when you tease them?

Teasing or lightly making fun people who you already have a good rapport with can be a good way to maintain a relationship but it has to be done right.

If the person doesn’t know that you are joking then they might get offended.

Doing this in English, if it is your second language, presents even more of a challenge.

We’ll show you how to navigate this potential pitfall today.

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Letting Jokes Come Across The Right Way

You want to tell a joke, but you want to say something afterwards to let the other person know that you are joking.

Sometimes you have a joking and teasing relationship with someone, and that can be good.

You do have to be sure that you have this relationship though, or that you know where the line is and that you don’t cross it.

You also want to be sure that you are in the right mental state to tease or be teased–if not and you are dealing with sensitivity then it can go really wrong.

Sometimes people want to be mean and think that if they say “just kidding” afterwards that it’s okay.

This is not true, and so you want to be sure that the teasing comes from both sides and that it comes with good humor.

Joking and teasing can help to take your relationship with this person to a whole new place.

This is a new way or form of intimacy, or of making great connections.

Navigating Your Way Through Humor

There are some special things we can say at the end which can let the other person know that you are joking.

If you can deliver a joke with a serious look on your face, then sometimes people don’t know it’s a joke.

You have to be aware of that and smile and let the other person know that it’s a joke.

Humor in other languages can also be tough sometimes.

Things may not translate well, and so you want to be aware of this and use the right phrases to convey that it’s a joke.

There are however a few things that you can say which let the other person know that it’s a joke.

These phrases are like a signal to let others know that it’s a joke and that you mean no harm by it at all.

Americans may be more open to making fun of each other, we tend to have fewer restraints on how we talk to people.

It’s not about being mean, but rather it’s just a part of how we talk to each other.

The Phrases To Let Others Know It’s A Joke

What can we say after we make fun of somebody or use somebody as the “butt of a joke”?

“I’m just kidding”: You might say this after you deliver a joke. You might shorten it to say “JK”. It means that you meant it as a joke and it can put the other person at ease. This is a commonly used phrase to put people at ease and let them know that it’s just a joke.

“I’m just teasing you”: It’s direct and general, but it gets the point across. This is a way to let the other person know that you mean no harm, and that you are just trying to have fun. Be sure that when you deliver this message you smile and keep it light.

“I’m just messing with ya”: It’s about the tone of voice, the way that it’s delivered, and the actual way that you put this out there too. It’s a great way to say that you are only jesting or joking, and you may even tap their shoulder afterwards to put them at ease. Notice it’s a bit lighter than the other two.

“Lighten up, relax”: It’s indicating that it’s a joke and you don’t want the other person to take it too seriously. It can be taken a bit wrong if the person is in the wrong mood. The intention though is to put the other person at ease and to let them know that you mean nothing bad, but rather you are trying to joke and keep things fun and light. This might be used often between couples or within a relationship, where joking is common.

All of these phrases can really be used to let the other person know that you’re joking around.

Joking or teasing can be just fine, but these phrases can allow you to let the other person know that you are just using some humor.


Joking or teasing can be a great way of making connections.

You just have to be sure that you let the other person know that you are joking around.

Any of these phrases can be used to help put the other person at ease and let them know that you are kidding around.

Be sure that you deliver the message right, use the right tone of voice, and keep it light for it to come across the right way.

Using joking as a way of connecting is great, so long as you get the message across in the best way possible.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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