I used to teach English for several years in South Korea.
Throughout all of my ESL classes, I always had students ask me what the difference between the word “fun” and the word “funny” was.
So I decided to make this blog post about it to answer the question, so that I could help all kinds of students all over the world and not just in my classroom.
Fun: Think Happy
If something is fun, that means you enjoy it. You smile, you are excited, you are happy, etc.
Funny: Think Laugh
If something is funny, that means it makes you laugh.
The simple difference
Again, all you have to remember is “fun” = happy, “funny” = laugh.
That is the essential difference between fun and funny.
Here are some example sentences for you.
Playing with friends is fun.
Going to the movies in fun.
Playing basketball is a fun way to exercise.
I had fun at the amusement park.
Jerry Seinfeld is so funny!
Watching silly videos on YouTube is funny.
The funny man got all the girls.
A Note on “Funny”
Funny can also have another meaning depending on the context, or the situation.
It can mean “odd, weird, off, awkard, not good, strange, etc.”
Here are some example sentences
I thought it was funny that John said one thing, but did another.
I have a funny feeling that our event will be canceled.
My stomach feels funny; I need to take some medicine.
So that’s basically it. Now you know the difference between fun and funny. I also made a YouTube video here, which if you click the link, you can hear my voice and improve your English listening skills as well.
Now, the next time you are talking with a native speaker, you can understand what they mean, and if you need to speak with them, you know which word to choose without sound…funny (get it 😉 )
One more question from students
Many of my students in the classroom ask me if a person can be both fun and funny. And the answer is yes. It can be confusing but I will explain.
If I enjoy spending time with my friend Elsa, then I can say she is fun.
Elsa is fun, I can’t wait to see her again.
Elsa can also be funny if she makes me laugh.
Elsa is so funny! I love her jokes.
I know I said fun is happy and funny is laughter, but when you laugh, you are enjoying yourself. Right?
So when you are laughing, you are having fun.
Elsa makes you laugh, and you feel happy, so funny Elsa is a fun person.
Funny Elsa is a fun person.
Does that make sense?
Hopefully this simple lesson will help you no longer be confused.
I hope you have a fun day today!