Could you explain the difference in the meaning between these two sentences please?
1. He is so funny
2. He looks so funny
"Comical, humorous" is one meaning.
"Peculiar, odd" is the other.
1. He is so funny.
This means that he can make people laugh.
This is the use of "funny" in its sense of "comical."
> "The comedian is so funny that he keeps his audiences in stitches whenever he performs."
> "Fred is so funny that he makes all the girls laugh with his jokes and silly stories."
2. He looks so funny.
This means that he looks odd, peculiar, strange.
It might mean that he doesn't look like the rest of humanity or only that he doesn't look like his usual self.
This is the use of "funny" in its sense of "peculiar."
> "The dog looks so funny that I think we better take him to the vet. He just doesn't look right."
> "I don't think we should hire this person; he looks so funny that I don't trust him."
This dual meaning can cause confusion in English.
It's a common expression to say, "Hmm. That's funny..." when something unexpected has occurred.
> "That's funny. I put my keys on the table and now they're gone."
> "That's funny. Three times in a row the phone rang but no one was on the line."
> "That's funny. Usually this restaurant is overcrowded, but today there's no one here."
Sometimes the person feels that they need to add, "I mean 'funny odd,' not 'funny ha ha.' "
But generally the confusion is not real, and the context (as well as the tone of voice) is sufficient to make your meaning clear. That means that the saying, "I don't mean 'funny ha ha' " is usually a waste of time.
There is an addition use of "funny" that is seen less often: to get funny
This means to misbehave in some way: To be tricky, sneaky, up to no good
"Don't get funny!" the girl said to her boyfriend, and she slapped his hand.
"Don't try anything funny while I'm searching your car," the police officer warned.
"He was always getting funny with the door locks," the supervisor complained, "so I let him go."
Last edited by Ann1977; 12-Sep-2009 at 11:01.