OK, so, some people say “I’m funny” or “I’m fun” or “I’m exciting”. Well, believe it or not these things people rarely say about themselves. Right, why? It sounds like you are saying that your own personal qualities are like this and not your feeling at the time, if you understand what I mean. Um, if you say like “I’m funny”, that’s just not funny and if you say “I’m fun”. Well, it sounds like you’re telling us you’re telling us your fun, which is not that fun. Or even exciting. No, it’s not exciting. Instead you can say “The show was fun” or “It was fun”. “It was exciting”. Or “I’m having fun” or “I had fun”. No, as for me just between you and I’m not really funny, but I’m fun, and exciting of course.
Are you ‘fun’? Or are you ‘funny’? Probably neither!
If you say ‘I am fun’, it’s like you’re telling us you’re like DisneyLand or Fuji Kyu!
Now if you are as enjoyable as these legendary theme parks then, give me a call!
But I’m not sure you would want to advertise yourself that way.
When Japanese students attempt to express their feelings about some object or something outside of themselves they tend to express it as… themselves.
You intended to communicate what you thought about something, but instead expressed your characteristics were as such.
Now everyone is lost.
This could be corrected through grammatical rules and such, however, it’s a simple error rooted in direct translation and culture.
I’m aware that in Japanese the subject is rarely identified. People only use pronouns ‘He, she, I, it,’ and so on when it seems absolutely necessary. Whereas in English the subject is rarely omitted.
As Japanese people, in certain situations we can say ‘watashi tanoshii’ and no one will think that you are comparing yourself to USJ.
Though, in English, when you say ‘I’m funny’, we’ll feel you’re claiming that you should be on the show Red Carpet.
Even if you do think you have that kind of talent, I am sure you didn’t intend to express that.
The misuse of ‘I’m funny’ is understandable coming from a Japanese student who most likely began learning to express feelings in the “Be” verb form like: ‘I’m cold’, ‘I’m happy’ or ‘I’m scared’.
The easy solution: In English make sure you choose the pronoun (he, she, I, it, this or that), according to the subject of discussion in the moment.
I’m funny.—————> It’s funny. I’m exciting.—————> It’s exciting. I’m fun.—————> It’s fun.
“According to the subject of discussion in the moment” means, for example when everyone is talking about a comedy, you wouldn’t suddenly say ‘I’m funny’ because suddenly, you just made yourself the subject of the conversation. And to top it off, you just insisted that you’re funnier than the comedy everyone may be excited about.
Super KY style!
But don’t be scared of breaking the atmosphere, because people would only be slightly confused, as opposed to thinking you are trying to grab the attention as a comedian of the conversation.
However, if you are claiming to be comedic, be my guest and say ‘I’m funny’!
But make sure you can deliver the goods as a comedian!
After contemplating and researching this for quite some time, it’s become clear that the confusion Japanese students have with selecting the correct expression is rooted in: Japanese language (usually) having no clear distinction between a characteristic of an object opposed to the feeling it gives a person.
What a headache English can be!
Japanese is much more convenient in this case.
Nevertheless, I’m confident that you can express yourself correctly once you make the mental adjustment in your English.
In English, many words that express the characteristic of an object or your emotion are actually verbs. Those verbs are used with ‘be’ verb, and the ending changes to either ‘ing’ or ‘ed’.
If you are expressing how you feel, the ending changes to ‘ing’.
If it’s about the characteristic of an object, the ending is ‘ed’.
I’m exciting.—————> I’m excited. I’m tiring.—————> I’m tired.
Going back to our topic ‘fun’, there is no variation as such as ‘fun’ is an adjective not a verb. To express joy using ‘I’ as the subject, you can use the following phrases.
- “I am having fun.”
- “I am enjoying it.”
To solidify your understanding you can read our next lesson when you’re not so tired (If you aren’t already).
It’s about being ‘tired’ when something is ‘tiring’.
But if you’re energetic and still inspired, I encourage you: Please click here to read the next article. (Coming soon).[日本語文へ]