Commonly Confused Words: Funnier or More Funny?

Is funnier a word, or is it more funny? I don’t know about you, but sometimes the English language feels like a three-ring circus. Is tripping over your shoes funnier or more funny than wearing a red nose? Let’s unravel the mystery behind these commonly confused words so you don’t end up looking like a clown.

Funnier or More Funny at a Glance

  • Funnier and more funny are both grammatically correct.
  • Funnier is the more commonly used form of the adjective “funny.”
  • More funny is less common and may sound awkward.

When To Use Funnier

When choosing between funnier and more funny, the decision often depends on the scope of comparison. Funnier is the preferred term when directly comparing the humor of two specific things. The term emphasizes a direct comparison within a particular context, highlighting the relative humor between two distinct elements. Think of it this way: Which one of two things is funnier?

Funnier Examples

  • The clown squirting water from a flower was funnier than the strongman struggling to lift a feather.
  • The juggler dropping the knives was funnier than the magician’s rabbit escaping from his hat.

When To Use More Funny

Using more funny is a way to express comparative humor in a nuanced manner. It suggests that something possesses a degree of humor beyond what is typical or expected. The more carries the emphasis, unlike with funnier, which directly compares two things.

More Funny Examples

  • The juggling act was more funny than I expected.
    • Meaning: The person already expected the juggling act to be funny, but its humor exceeded those expectations.
  • Your speech will be more funny if you add some jokes.
    • Meaning: The speech was already funny, but adding more jokes to it will make the revised speech funnier than the original.

What About Funniest?

Typically, you use funniest when comparing a range of jokes, anecdotes or elements. It is a superlative form of the word funny. Funniest points out what makes people laugh the most among several choices.

Funniest Examples

  • The circus lion’s act was the funniest act under the big top.
  • The giant rubber chicken was the funniest prop on the stage.

Do You Say More Funny or Funnier?

Conventional rules for forming comparatives stipulate that one-syllable words take an “-er” ending, while words with multiple syllables (three or more) require a prefix of “more.”

  • Smarter
  • Brighter
  • More beautiful
  • More intelligent

However, the word funny has two syllables. Don’t worry, though. This decision is pretty straightforward. Generally, we base the comparative forms of two-syllable words on how they sound when we say them. More funny typically sounds a little clunky. So, most of the time, you will choose the word funnier. Remembering that you can select the word that sounds the best makes this whole thing less of a circus.

Quick Tips for Funnier or More Funny

So, is it funnier or more funny? Knowing this can help you avoid getting a pie in the face when structuring your sentences. Luckily, it’s pretty simple. Funnier is more commonly used, so you generally choose this term in formal writing and speech when comparing two things. You can use more funny in casual conversation or when comparing the humor of something in a broad sense. These tricks can help you decide which word fits best, but the real trick is that both terms are grammatically correct.

What words do you feel require a balancing act to understand? Let us know in the comments below!                                         


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