Some verbs referring to sounds made by people (e.g. cough, laugh, cry, scream, shout, chuckle) are often replaced by a structure with give and a noun.
Common expressions are:
Give a cry
Give a cough
Give a laugh
Give a shout
Give a chuckle
Give a scream
Give a lecture
Give a speech
- She gave a scream and ran out of the room. (= She screamed and ran out of the room.)
- She gave a cough to attract my attention.
This structure can also be used with an indirect object. Common expressions are:
Give something a push
Give something a kick
Give something a clean
Give something a try
Give something a miss
Give somebody a ring
- I will give you a ring before I arrive.
- Give it a push if it doesn’t start.
- ‘Are you coming to the film?’ ‘No, I am busy. I will give it a miss.’
We say take an exam, not give an exam. Similarly, we say take a photo, not give a photo.