Fun or Funny?

Have a look at these two sentences – one of them is incorrect:

The party was funny.
The party was fun.

Which one is right? Fun and funny are two words in English (out of many!) that sound similar but have slightly different meanings – no wonder so many students confuse the two. Read on to find out which sentence is correct (and why).

Fun


Fun is used to say that something or someone is entertaining or enjoyable. It can be used as a noun:

They had lots of fun yesterday.

Or as an adjective (after the verb be):

It was a fun evening.
They’re fun to hang out with.

Expressions with fun

For fun/for the fun of it

Something done for fun is done for one’s own amusement – without a serious reason or purpose:

I paint for fun – it helps me relax.
He doesn’t play professionally, he just does it for the fun of it.

Fun and games

When something is fun and games, it is enjoyable, entertaining or amusing:

Teaching kids isn’t all fun and games.

Make fun of someone

To tease, mock, joke about or laugh at someone in an unkind way:

She used to make fun of me at school.

What fun!

To show that something sounds entertaining or enjoyable:

We’re going to spend a day at the pool – what fun!

Funny


Funny is an adjective – it describes something that makes you laugh:

He told us a funny story to cheer us up.
The film was really funny!

Funny can have other meanings – it can be used to describe something strange, peculiar or suspicious, or something that is difficult to explain. We can also use it to say we’re feeling slightly sick or unwell:

I had a funny feeling he would be there.  difficult to explain.
There’s something funny going on here…  unusual, arousing suspicion.
He gave me a funny look.  strange.
Are you alright? You look a bit funny.  unwell, ill.

Expressions with funny

Funny ha-ha

This expression is used to distinguish whether something is amusing or strange:

A: It was rather funny.
B: Do you mean funny ha-ha or funny peculiar?

See the funny side of something

To see or appreciate the amusing or humorous aspects of a situation:

He was rather unlucky but he could still see the funny side of the situation.

Practice


Here are some sentences to practise the difference between fun and funny:

1: Going to the dentist is not _____________.
2: I have a _____________ feeling that something bad is going to happen.
3: My stomach feels _____________.
4: We had so much _____________ last night!
5: He’s a _____________ guy.
6: My dad’s jokes aren’t _____________ at all.

Questions? Leave a comment or send a message!


Answers: 

The party was fun.

1: fun
2: funny
3: funny
4: fun
5: both – fun = cool, funny = strange or entertaining
6: funny