I could do with a laugh


Hello natives!

I have found the expression above in a dialogue between a man and a woman talking about the ordeal the woman is going through due to her old car which is playing up again and again.
So, while the woman is explaining to him her last misfortune, the man begins to laugh and says: "Ha ha, sorry, but it's like a comedy of errors. Please do continue - I could do with a laugh".
Now the explanations on the book say that the expression means "I need a laugh", but is this an idiomatic expression? as, if you translate it literally it doesn't make sense. Moreover, is it common in spoken english?

Thank you very much for your precious help :)
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I could do with something means I would like to have it, it would be good for me, I would appreciate it.

    I could do with a hand. (some help).
    I could do with more than 24 hours in a day.
    I could do with a drink.
    I could do with a laugh.

    It's very common in my experience, and I think you'll run across it occasionally, so I would recommend learning it now that you've asked about it.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    'I could do with a laugh' is a common colloquial expression meaning, in this instance, something like 'I'm finding your story very funny, please carry on as I'd like to laugh more.

    Although a literal alternative could be 'I need a laugh', it is not colloquial and wouldn't carry the same meaning in practice.

    'I could do with a laugh' is usually said as a sort of ironic put-down, rather than a genuine statement.
    < Previous | Next >