CONFUSING WORDS: FUN – FUNNY

Fun

Fun is an uncountable noun meaning ‘pleasure and enjoyment’:

We had such fun together.

It was fun to go to the beach with Rita’s family.

I hope you have fun!

Spoken English:

In informal speaking, we also use fun as an adjective:

We did a lot of fun activities in groups and individually to learn, have a fun time, and to get to know each other better.

Funny

Funny is an adjective and it means ‘amusing’ or ‘causing laughter’:

[an author is being interviewed about the main character in her book]

A:

How would you describe Lorna?

B:

Well. I think she’s very self-confident and assertive. I think she’s genuinely funny.

I think Jerry Springer is so funny. I just laugh so much when I watch his show.

Funny can also mean ‘strange’, ‘surprising’, ‘unexpected’ or ‘difficult to explain or understand’:

funny thing happened to me the other day. I was parking my car and a man came and knocked on my window … (A strange/surprising/unexpected thing happened …)

Wasn’t it funny the way Don just got up and left without saying goodbye to anyone? (Wasn’t it strange …)

Typical error

  • We don’t use funny to mean ‘enjoyable’:

The week I stayed in your country was really fun and I found the city where you live very interesting and beautiful.

Not: … in your country was really funny …

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