#11. – TO CRACK UP

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1. To become mentally ill. “He couldn’t take the pressure any more and he cracked up”
2. To suddenly start laughing, to burst out laughing. “someone farted in the classroom and everyone cracked up!“

Hello, ladies and gentlemen.

This is Luke from Luke’s English Podcast.

I hope that you’re having a good weekend.

This year I’m teaching you a phrasal verb every single day. Today’s phrasal verb is TO CRACK UP.

Yesterday, we had TO CRACK DOWN ON crime. Well, today we’ve having the expression TO CRACK UP. It’s got two meanings.

The first meaning is to go a little bit mad, like to go mentally ill, usually, because of pressure or stress.



for example:

– “I can’t take it anymore. Any more pressure and I’m gonna CRACK UP”.

for example:

– “Did you hear about John? Yeah, he couldn’t just take it anymore.”
– “Yeah, he’s CRACKED UP”

for example:

– “Any more pressure and he’s gonna CRACK UP!”

So, CRACK UP means, kind of, to go mentally ill, usually, because of pressure.


The other meaning of this is a lot more like-hearted and TO CRACK UP also means to suddenly start laughing, to burst out laughing, for example.


for example: Let’s see…

“Someone  farted in the class room and everyone just CRACKED UP”, meaning to start laughing.


– “I couldn’t help it, I just CRACKED UP! It was hilarious!”



So, it doesn’t take an object, this phrasal verb, you just CRACK UP, you don’t CRACK UP on something or CRACK UP something. (or crack something upYou just CRACK UP.


for example:

– “I was listening to Luke’s English Podcast on the train and he said something funny and I just CRACKED UP! Everyone looked at me as if I was a weirdo.”


That’s it for this one.

There will be another one of these tomorrow.

But for now it’s goodbye.

Bye bye by

  • Alier

    Tomorrow I will be going to the bank to do transfers, going to the airport to receive some visitors coming from America and going to prepare their entry permit and hotel reservation.I will crack up.

  • Denis Paraschuk

    I can’t work on this position anymore. I guess, I’ll crack up soon.

    My son is 7 years old. And yesterday he asked me suddenly: “What does it mean – “sex”? “. It was unexpected for me, I wasn’t ready to this question and I just cracked up.

  • María José

    I am trying to organise my week, so much work need to be done I´m about to crack up!!

  • Pingback: 175. The Phrasal Verb Chronicles #1 | Luke's ENGLISH Podcast()

  • Dmitry

    Well done Luke! Just fond of the things you do Thanks!!!

  • Herman Laurent

    Hi Luke!
    Maybe the first time i’ve sent you a message so I want to congratulate you on your AMAZING job you’re doing! I’m probably one of your diehard fan, listening to your podcasts almost everyday.
    This comment to improve your transcript: you wrote “like-hearted” instead of “light-hearted”.
    Thank you for enjoying my life a little bit more!
    Take care!
    Laurent (from Belgium)

  • Anonymous

    Wow, a new phrasal-verb every day is too much for me:) I’m feeling frustrated because i can not learn them, one every week could be better.. and a bit easier for you too…. so, I’m scared.. I’m going to crack up;)