Fun or Funny


English learners have some difficulty understanding the difference between these two similar words. Both Fun and Funny are adjectives and 'fun" can also be a noun.

These words are said often and are very specific to the context in your sentence or question.

Funny is describing something that makes you laugh.

Fun is what you have when you enjoy something.

Going to a movie can be fun, and the movie can also be a funny movie.

Going on a roller coaster ride can be fun because you had a good time, you enjoyed yourself.

Shopping can be fun, going out with friends can be fun, playing video games can be fun.

Can something be funny AND fun? Sure, when something is funny, you usually laugh and laughing is almost always fun.

Describing people: John is a fun guy. - this means you enjoy spending time with John, you usually have a good time together.

John can also be a funny guy - meaning he makes you laugh.

Here are some examples of these adjectives: should you say 'fun' or 'funny'?

  • Visiting new places is.......
  • A clown is ..........
  • A friend tells you a joke. The joke is......
  • Going to a party with your friend is........
  • Playing a video game is..........

(fun, funny, funny, fun, fun)

FUN as a noun - funny can never be a noun.

We had a lot of fun. This is also an uncountable noun, you can never make it plural. Many things are fun - never funs. "I hope you have fun on your vacation"

Exception for the word 'funny': Sometimes 'funny' can mean strange, weird, odd.

You can have a funny feeling - this does not mean you are laughing, it means you have a strange feeling, something is weird or does not feel right. If you have a funny feeling, it often means you think something bad is going to happen.

"I have a funny feeling about walking into this neighborhood. It is dark and scary so maybe we shouldn't walk here at night." (you have a weird or strange feeling about this situation)

"This soup tastes funny" (you do not like the taste of this food, it tastes weird, it tastes like something might be wrong with it)

"That's funny, I am sure I put my keys in my purse but now I can't find them." (you think this is strange or odd, you think you remember putting your keys in your purse but now they aren't there - this is weird)

To me, this is a funny joke. 

We also use these words in a negative sense to emphasize our feelings about something or someone. "John, this isn't funny, I lost my keys. This is serious, you have to help me find them." or casual conversation when you want to tell your friend that you are not laughing, something is not funny "Not funny Dude". If I went on a roller coaster ride, I would definitely have to tell my friends that it was "not fun", studying for an exam is not fun, a job interview is not fun and so on. However, learning English can be fun, it can be funny and you will enjoy your English lessons at Ole Academy!  Message me on Skype: june.eslteacher or on Kakao Talk:  juneDR

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