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"Why We Laugh" - by Sophie Scott

Pre-Intermediate
"Why We Laugh" - by Sophie Scott
1) Listen to the introduction [00:00-00:45] of the TED Talk and answer the question.
What is the point of Sophie’s story?

a When she was a child, she usually didn’t understand her parents’ jokes.

b When we hear people laughing, we want to laugh
with them.

c Sometimes, laughing can make the people around you feel bad.

2) Watch Part 1 [00:00-02:47] of the talk. Are the sentences true or false?


1 Sophie’s parents were laughing at a song.


2 The first recording includes both a man and an animal.


3 Sophie is worried that the second person laughing
doesn’t breathe in.


4 The third recording is an example of a monkey laughing,
which is very similar to a human.

3) Watch Part 2 [02:48-07:40] of the talk. Choose the correct options to complete the sentences. 


1 People laugh mostly when .
a they hear a joke c they’re with friends
b they watch a comedy


2 When we hear other people laugh, we usually .
a start laughing c think they’re laughing at us
b ask why they’re laughing


3 Laughter that we cannot control is called laughter.
a voluntary c vocal
b involuntary


4 We can choose to laugh when we want to be to
another person.
a horrible c polite
b funny


5 The first recording is laughter.
a polite c not really
b involuntary


6 The second recording is laughter.
a polite c not really
b involuntary

4) Complete the summary of Part 3 [07:41- end] of the talk before you
watch it. Then watch it and check your answers.

animals - bonds - emotions - humans - laughs - sounds

(1) .....................are not the only (2) ..................... that
laugh—many mammals laugh to feel better. And animals
also have both real and fake (3) ..................… with very
different (4)..................... . Laughter helps us maintain
social (5) ..................… and control our (6) ..................… .
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