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Is It Correct to Say “Funnier” or “More Funny?”

Sometimes the comparative is built into the word itself, and other times it is paired with “more” or “less.” Unlike the term fun, which is a noun in and of itself and is almost always reserved for use with “more” or “less.”

Cecilia Gigliotti
Cecilia Gigliotti

Comparatives can be a tricky aspect of the English language to master. Sometimes the comparative is built into the word itself, and other times it is paired with “more” or “less.” Unlike the term fun, which is a noun in and of itself and is almost always reserved for use with “more” or “less.”

Example:

I expected the game night to be more fun than that.

The term funny is an adjective and can therefore be a bit more fluid. Let’s take a look.

Comparing to other things

So, is funnier a word? In short, yes.

When talking about two separate entities, funnier is the way to go. It is the comparative of funny. For example, walking out of an open comedy mic, you might remark to your friend, “The first comedian was definitely funnier than the second.” Or, if you have your own little friendly competition, you might protest, “My joke was funnier than yours!”

On the other side of that coin, when talking about things that lack humor — or lack it in comparison to other things — you could say, “The second comedian was not as funny as the first,” or “Your joke was less funny than mine.”

The term more funny on its own feels a bit awkward and, thus, generally does not hold up. Funnier has a built-in comparative aspect and an easier flow off the tongue.

Comparing to itself

When the comparison is vaguer or internally focused, “more” and “less” come into play in a more prominent manner. Let’s say you have seen a movie that you found moderately humorous; you might say, “It was more or less funny,” or “It was more funny than not.” This tells the listener that you are willing to cede some level of humor — but not that it was the funniest thing ever.

Examples of using “funnier”:

The Dreamers (2003)
Marley & Me (2008)
Something Borrowed (2011)
EnglishWhich is correct

Cecilia Gigliotti

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