Confusing English Words: “Funny” vs “Fun” Differences & Examples

By 5 November 2018 Video lessons 4 Comments
funny vs fun

“Funny” or “fun”? Clear Your Confusion about These English Words

Hi there! I’m your English coach Christina, welcome to Speak English with Christina, where you’ll learn American culture and business know-how to become confident in English.

Sometimes the English language is just confusing. Some words look the same, but mean different things! For instance, take the words “funny” and “fun.”

English learners often use one for another, but that’s a mistake you don’t want to make! Their meaning is close, but still very different.

What’s the difference? How can you use them correctly? Don’t worry, I’m here to help!

Let’s go!

“Fun” vs “Funny” Sentence Examples

Let’s look at some contrasting examples, so you can see the difference.

Do not say: “Our trip to Disneyworld was funny. The kids loved it.”
But: “Our trip to Disneyworld was fun. The kids loved it.”

Do not say: “I had a funny time at the football game.”
But instead: “I had a fun time at the football game.”

Don’t say: “My friend has a dark sense of humor that’s very fun.”
But: “My friend has a dark sense of humor that’s very funny.”

These are mistakes that I often hear! So what’s the rule?

The “Fun” vs. “Funny”: What’s the difference?

“Funny” meaning
“Funny” means “something that makes you laugh.” Like a joke, a comedian or a TV show.

For example:
“Have you ever seen Saturday Night Live? It’s such a funny show!”
“Your jokes are very funny. You’re a funny guy!”

“Fun” meaning
On the other hand, “Fun” means “enjoyable.” Like a good time, a game or an adventure!

For example:
“I love visiting new countries, it’s always fun!”
“Thanks for inviting me to your party yesterday, it was fun!”
You don’t always need to laugh to have fun, but funny things and fun experiences often come together.
For example: “We spent a really fun evening at that comedy show. It was so funny!”

“Fun” or “Funny”: Advanced definitions

A fun experience means an enjoyable experience. A fun person is when you enjoy spending time with them–and with whom you often do fun activities!

Fun isn’t always an adjective, it can be a noun as well. Especially in the expression “to have fun” : it means to have a pleasurable time.

For instance:
“Julia is a fun girl! She’s really fun to be around, she always has crazy ideas for things to do.”
“Good luck for your football game, but more importantly, have fun!”

And finally, we also use “funny” as a synonym for “strange,” “surprising” or “unexpected.”

For instance:
“I know Paul? That’s funny you ask, I just met him!” (= it’s a surprising coincidence)
“The milk had a funny taste, I threw it away.” (=a strange, unexpected taste)
“I hope your brother is alright, he was acting a little funny when I saw him yesterday.” (acting funny = to have a strange behavior)

So, to recap: “fun” means “enjoyable, pleasurable,” while “funny” means “makes you laugh” or “a bit unexpected.”

And now, tell me: Can you write two new sentences that use “fun” and “funny”?
You can find inspiration from your own life.

Write your answer down in the comments!

There are many more mistakes that I want to help you with. That’s why I’ve created a new resource pack, “What was that?”: How to correct 50 common mistakes and avoid confusion in American English.

It includes 50 short, easy-to-learn lessons so you correct your common grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation mistakes. It also includes common idiomatic expressions and American culture do’s and don’ts, helpful quizzes to get you remember what you learn, and so much more!

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Thanks for watching Speak English with Christina, and I’ll see you next time!

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