'Fun' or 'Funny'? What Is the Difference? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 4 February 2024)

The Difference between Fun and Funny

Fun and funny are two words that are often confused. 

Let's start with funnyFunny is used for describing something or someone that makes you laugh:

✅ John loves telling funny jokes.

✅ This is one of the funniest stories I've ever read.

✅ We can't help laughing every time we watch that funny film.

✅ As a comedian, Rowan Atkinson is incredibly talented and funny.

Typically, people misuse funny in situations calling for funFun is used for describing something that is enjoyable or someone you enjoy being with:

Football is fun.
Football is funny.

Tony and I had a fun day at Disneyland.
Tony and I had a funny day at Disneyland.

Our day at the zoo was really fun. (Note that fun is not used with very.)
Our day at the zoo was really funny.

Anna is a really fun person to be around.
Anna is a really funny person to be around.

Examples from the Media

There they were taught French in the mornings in lively and fun classes, fed an authentic French lunch, and then taken on all sorts of adventure activities in the afternoons, ranging from white water rafting and swimming to—quelle surprise—mountain biking. —Daily Mail (2019)

She remembers her uncle as "just a fun person. If anything, I remember just the joy, the playfulness of him." —Toronto Star (2017)

Have you been watching comedy movies lately as a distraction? What are some of your favorites and why? What funny films or TV shows would you recommend to others? —The New York Times (2020)

Someone once asked me if I'd had a terrible childhood and if that's why I became a cartoonist in adulthood. A funny person. —The Sydney Morning Herald (2020)


Choose the correct word to complete each sentence.

1. Uncle Ray is always cheerful and fun/funny to be around.

2. I think Mr Bean is hilariously fun/funny.

3. Do you want to hear a fun/funny joke?

4. It's fun/funny to go skiing during the winter.

5. Baking is a fun/funny activity that can be enjoyed by all.

6. We have developed a programme that makes learning grammar fun/funny.

7. We had a fun/funny party last night.

Answer Key

1. fun    2. funny    3. funny    4. fun    5. fun    6. fun    7. fun

Real-World Examples of Misuse

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