Fun or Funny? Confusing English Words

Fun or funny? Bored or boring? Whereas one word describes a feeling, the other is a characteristic. Some similar-sounding words have very different meanings and can be confusing for English learners. For instance, you shouldn’t say “I’m boring” unless you’re admitting that you aren’t an interesting person. Below are some common words that you shouldn’t confuse.

Bored – not entertained

  • I am bored during school.
  • Watch a movie if you’re bored.

Boring – not interesting, dull

  • Doing homework is boring.
  • He fell asleep during the boring lecture.

Excited – happy, enthusiastic

  • He is excited to compete.
  • I’m excited for the weekend.

Exciting – thrilling, causing enthusiasm

  • International travel is exciting.
  • Winning the lottery is exciting.

Fun – to be enjoyable

  • Amusement parks are so much fun.
  • My best friend is a lot of fun.
Amusement park photo by Garry Knight

Funny – to be comical, hilarious

  • We laughed at the funny joke.
  • That comedian is so funny.

Impressed – to be in awe or admiration

  • We were impressed by the monument.
  • Your application impressed me.

Impressive – evokes awe or admiration

  • Their strength and balance is impressive.
  • Your application was very impressive.

Photo Credits