The Difference Between Funny and Fun
One of the most common mistakes that Catalan and Spanish students make is confusing these two English words. “Funny” is an adjective and means divertit/divertido. “Fun” is a noun and means diversió/diversión. Funny things make you laugh, fun things are things that you enjoy. However, the problem is that in Catalan and Spanish divertit/divertido can be used for both. For example:
Jokes are funny (they make you laugh)
Els acudits són divertits / Los chistes son divertidos
Skiing is fun (it is enjoyable)
L’esquí és divertit / Esquiar es divertido
Obviously it is enjoyable to laugh, but in English the two words have different but similar meanings. There are some ways to help the student decide which is correct. First, he or she can ask if it going to make them laugh. Laughing equals “funny.” For example, tenir gràcia/tener gracia is usually translated as “funny.”
If the activity is more about enjoyment, then the best translation is “fun.” For example, divertir-se/divertirse is always translated as “to have fun.”
Here are some more examples of the difference.
My friends and I always have fun when we go out
Els meus amics i jo sempre ens divertim quan sortim
Mis amigos y yo siempre nos divertimos cuando salimos
Diverteix-te!/¡Que te diviertas!
Robert is very funny
En Robert té molta gràcia
Robert tiene mucha gracia
The students were laughing but the teacher didn’t think it was funny
Els estudiants es rien, però el mestre no pensava que fos graciós
Los estudiantes se reían, pero el profesor no creía que fuera gracioso
In conclusión, funny things can be fun, but only things that make you laugh are funny.