Learn English – Is “I can’t stop laughing” the same as “I can’t help laughing”?


I know "I can't help laughing" means I can't stop myself from laughing.

What I want to know is "I can't stop laughing"* also means the same.

Thank you guys for helping me out especially prem, your explanation cleared my doubt

Best Answer

Consider this situation: there is a guy who wears Different strange clothes every day and whenever you see him in his new set of cloths, you laugh out loud. Your mother says you should stop doing that. The next time he comes, you still laugh and when your mother stares at you, you respond "I can't help laughing !", meaning "I can't stop myself from laughing, whenever I see his clothes !".

Consider this situation: the same guy, who happens to be a clown, shares a joke with you and your mother, and you both start laughing at the funny joke, and your mother recovers quickly. You continue laughing for minutes, and your mother says "Stop laughing like an idiot !". You respond "I can't stop laughing", meaning, in this situation, this particular joke is too funny and you just cannot stop, even if you want to.

I have been a victim of both cases in my office space. A friend sends me jokes by email, and when I read those, I usually can not help laughing. One particular joke was too much for me and I could not stop laughing for 5 minutes. I had to run away and hide in a meeting room for a while.

While this Distinction is small, the proper usage adds nuance to statements.

Related Topic