Common Expressions With Give

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.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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