Quick English Lesson: Fun and Funny

fun and funny


When talking in English about enjoyable things that you’ve done or good times that you’ve had, fun and funny are some of the words you’ll be using the most. Although these words look similar, they actually mean completely separate things. Sometimes it can be tricky to remember which one to use, but take a moment to understand the rules and you’ll be using them correctly in no time at all.



Put simply, fun describes things that are enjoyable. It doesn’t say what exactly is enjoyable about them, just that something about them is nice to do or be around.

Example: Having a movie marathon is fun.

Similarly, you can have a fun day at the beach, or do a fun activity in class. You can even say that a friend of yours is a fun guy, if he’s the type of person that people have a good time with.



Something that is funny, however, generally makes you laugh. A good joke is funny, or a well performed bit of comedy.

The act of going to the movies can be fun, but the movie is funny if it makes you laugh.

Example: Your friend is a funny guy.An English speaker would never say that playing football or going for a walk on the beach is funny, because there’s nothing to laugh at. (During your walk, if you happen to laugh at your friend tripping, his falling might be funny, but the walk itself would still just be fun!)


And, just to make things a little more difficult, funny can sometimes have other, very different meanings.

Example: I have a funny feeling about this. (something isn't quite right)

Example: What smells funny? (something smells strange)

To determine whether funny is a good thing or a bad thing, just pay attention to context!


Test yourself 

Practice what you've learned with our quiz below. Let us know your score in the comments section below. If you're interested in studying abroad take a look at the English schools we offer worldwide. 


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