''Joke about'' in American English

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

Does the verb "joke about" (= say funny things about something) sound idiomatic in my example in American English?

John: He's going to retire because he has a health problem.
Mary: At last! That boring man is going to give us a break. Let's celebrate! I don't think he's sick. He's just faking it. (she says laughing)
John: Mary, don't joke about serious things. His problem is serious. Try to put yourself in his place. Ok?

Thank you in advance!
  • cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    Sound shift is correct. "Joke about" (here, at least) is not a phrasal verb. ''About" is a preposition governing "things." "Joke" is intransitive. It is idiomatic.


    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    Xavier, are you asking if the phrase is an idiom, that is "a fixed phrase"? By "idiomatic" I understand, more or less, "grammatical," "acceptable," "good" English. If so, it's not an "idiom," but it is "idiomatic."
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