1. It's important to keep a promise.
2. It's fun to play tennis.

Looking at the two sentences above, we can see both "important" and "fun" are adjectives. What are the comparative and superlative forms of "fun"?
Since it's a short adjective with a single short vowel, it should be, according to the general rule, funner and funnest, as in "redder, reddest", but I don't think they are standard usage yet. Then "more fun" and "the most fun" would be acceptable?

Original Post
Actually, strictly speaking, "fun" is not an adjective, but a noun, as in this definition from the American Heritage Dictionary:

1. A source of enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure.
2. Enjoyment; amusement: have fun at the beach.
3. Playful, often noisy, activity.

As a noun, its quantity or amount would be compared with "more" and "the most." The sentence would be:

"¢ It's more fun to play tennis than to go shopping at the mall.
A sentence with a superlative might be:

"¢ We had the most fun all summer playing tennis last weekend.

So, yes, your sentence would be perfect with "more fun" or "the most fun."

Many nouns cross the line to become adjectives themselves. "Fun" is one of those nouns, although its use as an adjective may still be considered borderline. The American Heritage Dictionary* has this definition at "fun":

adj. Informal.

Enjoyable; amusing: "You're a real fun guy" (Margaret Truman).

The Cambridge Encyclopedia** also notes the use of "fun" as an adjective:

"Many speakers, especially younger ones, accept expressions like a very fun person, indicating that fun has been assimilated into the adjective category."

While "funner" does not seem to exist as a bona fide comparative of "fun" used as an adjective, it does appear in 43,400 examples on Google. Take a look! This form, however, would draw red correction marks from teachers and editors everywhere.

*The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Houghton Mifflin Company. 2003
**The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, by Huddleston and Pullum. Cambridge University Press. 2002
Yes, I also think "fun" is actually a noun, but then what other nouns can take the place of "fun" in my sentence?

Do you mean what other nouns can be used with anticipatory it + an infinitive? Not nearly as many as adjectives! A few are:

It's work to...

It's a pleasure to...
It's a shame/pity to...
It's a problem to...
It's a blessing to...

Of course, making comparisons with these count nouns would be different: "it's more of a xxx to..." or "it's a bigger/greater xxx to..."

Here's an interesting USAGE NOTE from the American Heritage Dictionary:

USAGE NOTE The use of fun as an attributive adjective, as in a fun time, a fun place, probably originated in a playful reanalysis of the use of the word in sentences such as It is fun to ski, where fun has the syntactic function of adjectives such as amusing or enjoyable.

The usage became popular in the 1950s and 1960s, though there is some evidence to suggest that it has 19th-century antecedents, but it can still raise eyebrows among traditionalists. The day may come when this usage is entirely unremarkable, but writers may want to avoid it in more formal contexts.
Last edited by Rachel, Moderator

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.