If you say, "it is fun playing golf", I think "fun" is a noun.
When I hear people say, "it sounds fun," is it a noun or an adjective?
I understand the verb "sound" is followed either by a noun or an adjective, and I think they should say, "it sounds like fun" if they use it as a noun. Or can the word "fun" be used as an adjective on its own?
Please clear this up once and for all.

  • 1
    sounds fun does not sound correct in my ears ;)
    – mplungjan
    Jan 22, 2014 at 5:15
  • 2
    @mplungjan- Interesting. It's heard quite frequently in my circle of friends: Hiking? Yeah, that sounds fun!
    – Jim
    Jan 22, 2014 at 5:18
  • 1
    @Fujibei- How would you classify these? That sounds [exciting|loud|noisy|scary|fun|dangerous...]
    – Jim
    Jan 22, 2014 at 5:20
  • Have checked the dictionary? oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/fun?q=fun
    – Kris
    Jan 22, 2014 at 6:01
  • 1
    The use of fun in an adjectival sense is informal.
    – Kris
    Jan 22, 2014 at 6:02

2 Answers 2


Please clear this up once and for all.

On 15 April 1755, Samuel Johnson "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history", published his Dictionary of the English Language in order to "remove rubbish and clear obstructions from the paths of Learning and Genius." It is among the most influential dictionaries in the history of the language. Yet it can do little to prevent people from misusing the word fun.

When enough people misuse a word often enough, it becomes part of the language. It can't really be prevented, no matter how many knuckles are rapped by irritable grammarians.

"That sounds fun!" is creeping into our language, perhaps influenced by a generation of people who want to shorten their communication to far fewer than 140 characters. Nothing can be done about it, for as Robert Burns explained,

The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley

An'lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

It sounds fun means It sounds like fun. Might as well adjust to it.

Behold Samuel Johnson. Does he look like a fun guy?

enter image description here

  • 2
    Looks like Blackadder has just caused him some pericombobulation. Jan 22, 2014 at 7:11
  • That's not Samuel Johnson, that's @StoneyB!! ;-)
    – Jim
    Jan 23, 2014 at 2:27
  • "It sounds fun" doesn't mean "It sounds like fun", any more than "She looks fat" means "She looks like fat".
    – Stuart F
    Jun 29, 2022 at 20:08
  • @StuartF - bullshit. And again, bullshit. Something isn’t true because you believe it to be. Jun 29, 2022 at 22:12

The word "fun" is a noun while the word "sound" can be either a verb or a noun. When it is used in a sentence such as " " That sounds fun." It is an error of omission resulting from the contraction of "That sounds like fun" and when we read or hear the phrase "that sounds fun" the contraction naturally "feels" uncomfortable or awkward since it is unbalanced and incomplete, unless one has been introduced to English on "Twitter"


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