prank vs. trick vs. mischief

jokaec

Senior Member
Chinese - Hong Kong
A. Could you open that box for me?
B. I know you are going to play a "prank" or "trick" or "mischief" because John told me you put a mouse in a box and let him open it last time, so I won't fall into the same trap.


Are they both correct? If so, which is more common in colloquial AmE?
 
  • Not "both" (two only) since you mentioned three:), prank, trick, mischief, but the idioms are play a trick but pull a prank. (mischief is not used in this way)

    More natural, I think, might be to add "on me" to the trick construction, although not strictly necessary:

    "I know you're going to play a trick on me." is probably what I'd say.

    or "pull some kind of prank."

    "mischief" is a vague description of any kind of irritating behavior, and the adjective is "mischievous". EX" "Their behavior was mischievous."

    That doesn't even come close to the specifics of playing a trick or pulling a prank.



     

    jokaec

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Hong Kong
    Not "both" (two only) since you mentioned three:), prank, trick, mischief, but the idioms are play a trick but pull a prank. (mischief is not used in this way)

    More natural, I think, might be to add "on me" to the trick construction, although not strictly necessary:

    "I know you're going to play a trick on me." is probably what I'd say.

    or "pull some kind of prank."

    "mischief" is a vague description of any kind of irritating behavior, and the adjective is "mischievous". EX" "Their behavior was mischievous."

    That doesn't even come close to the specifics of playing a trick or pulling a prank.
    Thank you Dale Texas. If only verbal jokes, can I say "he likes to play jokes with me."?
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thank you Dale Texas. If only verbal jokes, can I say "he likes to play jokes with me."?
    Where I come from, "play jokes" is not a normal collocation. If the jokes are verbal (as opposed to practical), then you could say "He likes to tell me jokes" if you mean that he likes to make you laugh by telling you jokes.
     

    jokaec

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Hong Kong
    Where I come from, "play jokes" is not a normal collocation. If the jokes are verbal (as opposed to practical), then you could say "He likes to tell me jokes" if you mean that he likes to make you laugh by telling you jokes.
    If he likes to make fun of me in his jokes, can I still say "he likes to tell me jokes"?
     
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