Jokes in English for the ESL/EFL Classroom
A Project of The Internet TESL Journal

Teachers often use jokes in the ESL/EFL classroom to teach culture, grammar and vocabulary.
If you know a joke that works well with ESL/EFL students, please submit the joke.
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Q: What are two things people never eat before breakfast?
A: Lunch and supper.
Q: Why did the man throw a bucket of water out the window?
A: He wanted to see the waterfall.

Q: Why did the man throw the butter out the window?
A: He wanted to see the butterfly.

Q: Why did the man put the clock in the safe?
A: He wanted to save time.

Q: What has two hands and a face, but no arms and legs?
A: A clock.

Q: What has a neck, but no head?
A: A bottle.

Q: Where is the ocean the deepest?
A: On the bottom.

Q: Why did the man throw his watch out of the window?
A: He wanted to see time fly.
Submitted by Chris from Australia
Q: What State in the United States is High in the middle and round at the ends?
A: Ohio.
Submitted by Jesus Macario
Q: "There were some twins. One was twenty, the other was twenty 2. One married the other. How can be this ?"
A: "One was twenty, the other twenty too. One was a priest so he married the other"
PS: These sentences must be asked orally .Pronunciation is important. (too = 2)
Submitted by Zekih.
Q: How do you spell mousetrap?
A: C-A-T.
Submitted by Mumblia
This one should be spoken.
Q: How many legs does an ant have?
A: Two, the same as an uncle.
(HINT: ant = aunt)
Submitted by C. Berry
Q: How many people are buried in that cemetery?
A: All of them.

Q: What can't be used until it's broken?
A: An egg.
Q: What do tigers have that no other animals have?
A: Baby tigers.
Q: What is Black and white and read (red) all over?
A: A newspaper
Submitted by: Ashley
Q: Why is number six afraid ?
A: Because seven eight nine (seven ate nine)
Submitted by MR Engelsman
Q: How do you know when a motorcycle policeman is happy?
A: He has bugs on his teeth!
Submitted by Judy Snoke
Q: What did zero say to eight?
A: Nice belt.
(The 8 looks like a 0 with a belt around its waist.)
Submitted by Charlotte and Francis

Q: What did number 1 say to 7?
A: Nice hair
Submitted by Submitted by Michael
In the alphabet...

Q: Which is the most self-centered letter of the alphabet?
A: "i" (I)

Q: Which letter is always trying to find reasons?
"y" (Why?")
Submitted by: Melina Gasser- Argentina

Q: Which letter is not me?
A: U.
Submitted by: Hamed Mohamed
Q: What letter can do the work in one day that you can do in two days?
A: W (Double u- Double you)

Q: Why don't we need a compass at the North Pole?
A: Because every direction is south.
Submitted by Cüneyt ARAS

Q: Why is the A like a flower?
A: Because the B is after it.
Submitted by Angelika Pichler
Why is the letter "A" like noon?
Because it's in the middle of the day.
Submitted by Motoko Hashimoto
Q: "What letter of the alphabet has got lots of water?"
A: "The C"
Submitted by Susana P. Varona
Q: "What letter of the alphabet is always waiting in order?"
A: "The Q. (queue)
Submitted by José Mª Pérez
Q: What has two heads, four eyes, six legs and a tail?
A: A horse and its rider.
Q: What is as big as a horse but doesn't weigh anything?
A: The horse's shadow.
Q. Why was the hearse horse hoarse?
A. Because of the coffin
Submitted by Ciaran P. McCarthy
Q: Why are man with pierced ears better suited for marriage?
Q: Because they have suffered and bought jewelry.
Q: What begins with T, ends with T and has T in it?
A: A teapot.
Q: Do you know why birds fly to south in the winter?
A: Because it's too far to walk there.
Submitted by Yang
Q: Why do birds fly south in the fall?
A: Because it's too far to walk!
Submitted by Michèle Larouche
Q: Which letters do Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday have in common?
A: None! None of them have "c", "o","m" or "n" in them.
Submitted by Paulo José L. do Amaral
I tried this one with Japanese university students. They understood all the words and enjoyed it.

Q: What are the 3 important rings in life?
A: Engagement ring, Wedding ring, and suffering.

Q: Which room has no doors, no windows.
A: A mushroom.
Submitted by LUZ
Q: What gets wetter as it dries?
A: A towel
Q: A man rode into town on Tuesday. Two days later he rode home on Tuesday. How is this possible?
A: His horse's name is Tuesday.
Q: Why didn't the skeleton go to the dance?
A: He didn't have anybody to take. (any BODY)
Submitted by Toni Allen (from daughter)
Q: A father and his son were in a car accident. The father died. The son was taken to the hospital. The doctor came in and said: I can't do surgery on him, because he's my son. Who was the doctor?
A: The doctor was his mother.

It's an old riddle that is more difficult in some countries than in others.

Q: Why did the student take a ladder to school?
A: Because he/she was going to high school!

Q: Why did the tomato blush?
A: Beacuse it saw the salad dressing!
Submitted by: Dave Williams

Q: What are the two strongest days of the week?
A: They are Saturday and Sunday. All the others are weak (week) days.
Submitted by both Motoko Hashimoto & Alfredo Bilopolsky
Q: How far can a dog run into the forest?
A: Halfway, after that he is running out of the forest.
Submitted by: Rabi'a
Q: What do you call a bear without an "ear"?
Submitted by: Drew Bassett
Q: Which is faster, heat or cold?
A: Heat, because you can catch a cold.
A: How many apples can you eat if your stomach is empty?
B: 4 or 5
A: No, that's wrong, because after eating one apple your stomach isn't empty.
Submitted by: Mirali
If you are doing a discussion about space, then students will like this one.

Q: Why did Mickey Mouse go to outer space?
A: To find Pluto.
Submitted by: Elisa-SN Argentina

Q: What is the differnce between the capital of Russia and a calf's mother?
A: One is Moscow, the other is a cow's Ma.
(It needs to be spoken to understand it.)
Q: What do you call a Spaniard who can't find his car?
A: Carlos
It's pronounced "carless" (meaning without a car)
Submitted by Laurence Whiteside
Q: What's the difference between electricity and lightening?
A: You don't have to pay for lightening.
This riddle may be used when teaching a lesson on occupations.

Q: What's the difference between a TEACHER and a CONDUCTOR ?
A: A teacher TRAINS the MIND and a conductor MINDS the TRAIN.
Submitted by: Tania Mello (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Q: What part of your body disappears when you stand up?
A: Your lap. (good for phrasal 'stand up', and 'laptop', lap-dog, etc.)
Submitted by: Richard
Q: What do you call a witch at the beach?
A: A sandwich.
Submitted by Tinour
Q: Why did the trafic signal turn red?
A: You would too if you had to change in the middle of the street.
Submitted by: Drew Hinds
Q: What's the difference between a lion with toothache and a wet day?
A: One's roaring with pain the other's pouring with rain
Submitted by: Eileen Dwyer
Q: Why are baseball stadiums so cool?
A: There is a fan in every seat.
My Spanish-speaking students got a kick out of this one.

Q: What do you call a person who speaks 3 languages?
A: (Try to elicit responses..) Tri-Lingual.
Q: What do you call a person who speaks two languages?
A: (Many of them know this one) Bi-Lingual.
Q: What do you call a person who speaks one language?
A: An American!
Submitted by: Sarah

Q: What do you call a fish without an eye?
A: Fsh.
(Hint: No "eye" = No "i")
Submitted by: Kristi Swarbrick, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Q: What has thirteen hearts but no body and no soul?
A: A pack of playing cards.

Q: What do you call a fish that only cares about himself?
A: Selfish.
Submitted by Cüneyt Aras, Turkey

Q: Why couldn't Mozart find his teacher?
A: Because the teacher was Hayden.
(Hayden --> Hidin' --> Hiding)
Submitted by Sheila S. and Judy R.
Q. What's a minimum?
A. A very small mother!
Submitted by Thierry A.
Q: Why can't a bicycle stand on its own?
A: Because it's two-tired (too tired)
Submitted by Shir Noy
Q: What do you get if you cross a pig with a karate fighter?
A: Pork chops.
Q: What's got a head and a tail, but no body?
A: A coin.

Q: What's got a wave but no sea?
A: My hair.
Submitted by Nadia, age 7

Q: What has three feet but no legs or arms?
A: A yard.
Submitted by Dobbin Pelagius
Q: Where does a boxer who weighs 135 kilograms sit on a bus?
A: Wherever he wants to.
Submitted by François Falardeau
What makes "oom" and gives milk?
A cow walking backwards.
Submitted by Fernando
Q: What does a man say when he walks into a bar?
A: Ouch!
Submitted by Miguel M. Llop Díaz-Cano
Q: Where does Dracula stay when he goes to New York City?
A: The Vampire State building.

Q: What do cows like to read?
A: The mooooospaper

Q: What is the longest word?
A: Smiles, because there is a mile between the first and last s.
Submitted by Guillermo Flores Grajales - Mexico City ESL teacher.

Re-worded by another teacher.
Q: What's the longest word in the English language?
A: Smiles. (Because there's a mile between the first and the last letter.)
A: What is the word that everybody always says wrong?
B: "Wrong".
Submitted by Qin Honghuai
Q: What five-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?
A: Short
Submitted by Kevin Schoepp
A: What's the longest word in the dictionary?
B; Rubber-band -- because it streches.
Submitted by Christopher Berry
Q. How many seconds are there in one year?
A. Twelve. January second, February second, March second...
Submitted by Mark A. Cole
Q. What two days of the week start with the letter "T"?
A. Tuesday and Thursday? NO, today and tomorrow!
Submitted by Mark A. Cole
Q: What did the doughnut say to the loaf of bread?
A: If I had as much dough as you, I wouldn't be hanging around this hole.
Submitted by M.Pampush
Q: Why did the pony have a sore throat?
A: Because it was a little horse. (hoarse)
Q: What did the undertaker die of?
A: Coughin' (coffin)
Q: Why can't a nose be twelve inches?
A: Because then it would be a foot.
Q: How do porcupines kiss each other?
A: Very carefully.
Q: What has four wheels and flies?
A: A garbage truck.
Q: What has teeth but can't bite?
A: A Comb.
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: To get to the other side.
Q. Why did the turkey cross the road?
A. Because the chicken was on vacation.
Submitted by Linda Edgerton
Q. Why did the baby cross the road?
A. Because it was stapled to the chicken.
Q: Why did the germ cross the microscope?
A: To get to the other slide!

A: Why did the chewing-gum cross the road?
B: Because it was stuck to the chickens foot.
Submitted by Christopher Berry
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: To show the possum it could be done.
Submitted by Alex McLean
Q: Why do people call their own language their mother tongue?
A: Because their fathers seldom get a chance to use it.

NOTE: For this to be funny, students need to understand that in many cultures women have the image of speaking so much that their husbands seldom have a chance to say anything.

Q: A big moron and a little moron are walking across a bridge when the big moron falls off. Why didn't the little moron fall off?
A: He was a little more on.
Submitted by Kevin Schoepp
Q: Name one eight letter word that has kst in the middle, in the beginning, and at the end.
A: "Inkstand", "in" is at the beginning, "kst" is in the middle, and "and" is at the end.
Submitted by Kevin Schoepp
Q: When does a dialect become a language?
A: When its speakers get an army and a navy.
Q: What is a Honeymoon Salad?
A: Lettuce alone without any dressing.
Submitted by David Henry
Q: Why is it impossible to starve in the desert?
A: Because of all the sandwiches (sand which is) there.
Submitted by Shad Schroeder
Q: Why don't sharks eat clowns?
A: Because they taste funny.
Submitted by maggie
Q: What would the pig say when its tailed was held tight by the farmer who had a sharp knife in his other hand?
A: "That's the end of me!"
Submitted by Jing Wen of San Francisco
Q: Do you know where people send a horse when it is sick?
A: To a horsepital.

Q: What did the doctor say when the invisible man called to make an appointment?
A: Tell him I can't see him today.
Submitted by Genivaldo Rodrigues Sobrinho

Q: Which 'BUS' could cross the ocean?
A: Columbus!
Submitted by Kusuma from Thailand
Q: What a bee says when it gets in the hive?
A: Hi Honey! I'm home!
Submitted by Bianca Lévesque -ESL Teacher , Montreal - Canada

Q: How do you catch a squirrel?
A: Climb a tree and act like a nut !
Submitted by Mark Grable
A: Why did the boy balloon chase the girl balloon?
Q: Because he wanted to see her bust!
Q: What do you call a fish with no eyes?
A: fsh (No letter "i", so no i's.)

Q: What do you call a deer with no eyes?
A: No idea. (No eye deer)

Q: What do you call a deer with no eyes or legs?
A: Still no idea.

Q: Where do cows go for entertainment?
A: They go to the mooovies!
Q: What animal is it that has four legs a tail and flies?
A: A dead horse!

A: What is the difference between a mail box and an elephant?
B: I don't know.
A: I'm not going to give you any letters to post then!
Submitted by Leda Giménez de Comba , from Argentina

Q: What do you call 'a fly' without wings?
A: You call it 'a walk.'
Submitted by Makaron
I saw this on a web-site of musician jokes. It's not original, but I thought I would share it. Here it is:

Q: What's the difference between a musician and a savings bond?
A: A savings bond eventually matures and earns money.
Submitted by James Wilson, Mt. San Antonio College

Q: What color is a guitar string?
A: Plink!
(It is the sound the a guitar makes. The word sounds like the color "pink.")
Submitted by Submitted by V. Ellison
What goes "ZUB, ZUB"?
A bee flying backwards.(Buz,Buz)
Submitted by Jozef Karpat

(After teaching about telling time)
Teacher: What time is it?
Students: Umm, eight fifty-nine?
Teacher: Nope.
Students: About nine o'clock?
Teacher: No.
Students: What then?
Teacher: It's time to go home.
Submitted by Kier Bass
Q: What did one light bulb say to another light bulb?
A: You are the light of my life.
Submitted by brenda "la chuca"
Q: Why did the golfer take and extra pair of pants for his Saturday round of golf?
A: In case he got a hole in one.
Submitted by Leah Davis
Q. Why did the golfer wear two pairs of trousers?
A. In case he got a hole in one!
Submitted by Lesley Morgan
Q: What flowers have two lips?
A: Tulips

Q: They travel all over the world but end up in the corner, what are they?
A: Stamps
Submitted by Takya, Malaysia.

Q: Why didn't the farmer cry when his dairy cow fell off the cliff?
A: There's no use crying over split milk.
Submitted by Alfred Vincent
Q: Ten copycats were sitting in a boat, and one jumped out. How many were left?
A: None. They were all copycats.

Q: What is the difference between a jeweler and a jailor?
A: A jeweler sells watches. A jailer watches cells.
Submitted by Cristina Toso

Q: What is a bachelor?
A: A man who never Mrs. (misses) anyone.
Submitted by C. Berry
Q: Why do cows have bells?
A: Because their horns don't work.
Submitted by Barbara Koehler
This one may be difficult for some ESL students since it requires knowing the words "seagul", "bay" and "bagel"

Q: Why do seagulls fly over the sea?
A: Because if they flew over the bay, they would be bagels!
Submitted by Corey Palmer, Lemoore, CA

Q: What's the difference between a trampoline and an English textbook?
A: You take off your shoes before jumping on a trampoline.
Q: How do you get ten English teachers to agree on the best teaching method?
A: Shoot nine of them.
(Use as an example of the insult variety of jokes.)
Q: Why were the little drops of ink crying?
A: Their mother was in the pen and they did not know how long her sentence would be.
Submitted by Walter Lowe, aka "Anonymouse"

Q: How many sheep does it take to make one wool sweater?
A: I didn't even know sheep could knit!

Q: What's a teacher's favorite nation?
A: Expla-nation.

Q: What's the most colorful state of U.S.A.?
A: Color-ado.
Submitted by Jeanine Padilha,Brazil

Q: In what state does it cost the most to live in?
A: Expennsylvania.
Submitted by Mike McKinney
Q: What did the cannibal who was late for dinner get?
A: The cold shoulder.
Submitted by Sean
A Christmas time joke for grammar classes:
Q: What do you call Santa's helpers?
A: Subordinate Clauses.
Submitted by: Mike
Q: What do you call a dog with no legs?
A: Why bother, he won't come anyway.
Q: How do you top a car?
A: Tep on the brake, tupid!
Submitted by Sandra Duncan
Q: Is there a word in the English language that uses all the vowels including "y" ?
A: Unquestionablely!
Submitted by lisa
Q: Why do birds fly south for the winter?
A: Because it's too far to walk.
Submitted by Kevin Long
Vocabulary Quiz:
Q: What is the longest word in the English language?
A: Smiles. (There is a mile between the first letter and the last letter.)

Information Quiz:
Q: What is the tallest building in our town?
A: The library. (It has the most stories.)
Submitted by Walter Lowe, aka "Anonymouse"

Q: If you are Russian before you enter the bathroom and Finnish after you leave the bathroom, what are you when you are in the bathroom?

A: European.  (You're a-peein'.)
Submitted by Cara Thompson (from my step-daughters)

This riddle may be good for high-level science majors.

Q: What do you call a test tube that graduates from high school?
A: A graduated cylinder
Submitted by Margaret Elliott

Here is a good riddle to demonstrate the battle-between-the-sexes kind of jokes.

Q: Why did God create the man before he created the woman?
A1: The answer that men give: To give him the chance to enjoy Heaven on Earth for a few moments.
A2: The answer that women give: Everyone makes a draft first!
Submitted by: Robert
Q: How did Jonah feel after he got swallowed by a fish?
A: Down in the mouth.

Q: What did the monk say to the hotdog vendor?
A: Make me one with everything.
Submitted by Jason Schulte

Maybe only appropriate for more mature students.

Q: What did the fish say when he hit the wall?
A: Dam!
Submitted by: DuMars

Q: A man was locked in a room with only a bed, a calendar, and a piano. How did he drink, how did he eat, and how did he get out? Another man was locked in a room with only a mirror and a table. How did he get out? A third man was locked in an empty room. How did he escape?

A: The first man drank from the springs of the bed, ate the dates off the calendar and played the piano until he found the right key, which he used to unlock the door. The second man looked in the mirror to see what he saw. Then he took the saw and cut the table in half. Next, he put the two halves together to make a whole. Finally, he crawled out through the hole. The third man broke out with the measles.
Submitted by Walter Lowe, aka "Anonymouse"

Q. What's brown and sticky?
A. A stick!
Submitted by Moira Dykes, Cambridge
Teacher: How can we get some clean water?
Student: Bring the water from the river and wash it.
Submitted by: Zeinab Eltayb

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