The Difference between Fun and Funny

A common mistake for students learning English is the difference between Fun and Funny.

What is the difference between Fun and Funny?

Both can be used as adjectives (words that describe something)

Funny = it makes you laugh
Fun = when you enjoy yourself and have a good time
(*But Fun can also be a noun – see below)

A comedian is…. FUNNY (because he makes you laugh)
Going to an amusement park is … FUN (because you enjoy yourself and have a good time)

Compare these examples:

  • John is a fun guy. (I have a good time when I am with John)
  • John is a funny guy. (John makes me laugh)

And in negative sentences…

  • Going to a dentist is not fun!
  • Doing a long boring exam is not fun.
  • Nobody laughed because his joke was not funny.
  • An accident is never funny. (Well, it’s not supposed to be funny!)

Are the following situations fun or funny?

1. A party with your friends is…
2. A clown is…
3. Playing a game is…
4. Visiting new places is…
5. A friend tells you a great joke. The joke is…

1. Fun 2. Funny 3. Fun 4. Fun 5. Funny

Funny = Strange

Sometimes FUNNY means strange or difficult to explain.

  • I have a funny feeling that something bad is going to happen.
  • That’s funny, I though I had left my keys on the table, not in my bag.
  • This soup tastes funny.


Fun as a noun
Fun (noun) = enjoyment or pleasure

  • I had lots of fun at the party last night.
  • We hope you have fun at the beach tomorrow!

Fun (noun) can also be used to describe the good humor and playful behavior of a person.

  • She is not boring at all, she is actually full of fun.

Are you a fun person or funny person?

The difference between Fun and Funny in English

English Teacher Resource

We have created a printer-friendly version of this chart that English teachers can use in class. There is also a worksheet to practice the difference between Fun and Funny. You can find it by clicking on the image below:

Difference between FUN and FUNNY summary chart and worksheet - ESL Common Mistakes

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6 Responses to “The Difference between Fun and Funny”

  1. Margaret 19 July, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    How do we distinguish “funny” from “fun”?

    Do we say, “He is a fun guy” or “He is a funny guy”?

    • woodward 19 July, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

      Both “fun guy” and “funny guy” are correct however their meaning is different.

      A “funny guy” is someone who does funny things and makes us laugh – he tells jokes, is silly or does stupid things that make you laugh in general.

      A “fun guy” is someone who is fun to be with and we have a good time with him – perhaps because he’s witty, or enjoys doing things that are fun to do.

      A guy can also be both fun AND funny at the same time.

  2. marcelo 17 September, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    Nice, but… very bad choice of cartoon for “fun”. That looks more like terror, fear, danger, etc… 🙁

    • woodward 20 September, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

      Ha ha ha, you are probably right there, they do look a little scared 🙂

      • dracuella 4 December, 2013 at 4:14 am #

        .. which can be great fun, too 😉

  3. Victor 23 January, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    Great explanation. I’m so glad I finally understood the difference between fun and funny. There was no teacher who could make me understand such a simple difference, and suddenly I found it in a website. 🙂 Thank you guys for helping.

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