to be keen on / to be fond of

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Raff74, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. Raff74 New Member

    Italian - Italy
    Could you tell me the difference between I'm keen on and I'm fond of? I have to write that I'm very interested in music, so which is the best expression between them? I think they have the same meaning!

    Thanks! :)
  2. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    They mean exactly the same thing, and in most instances can be used interchangeably. For some reason, I would say I'm fond of music rather that I'm keen on music, but this might be just me.
  3. rhitagawr

    rhitagawr Senior Member

    British English
    I wouldn't say they mean exactly the same thing, although if you're talking about music I suppose there's no great difference. "Fond of" implies - or can imply - a certain tenderness, at least in human relationships: "He was fond of his grandchildren." "Keen on" sounds a bit more rugged and less gentle than "fond of": "I'm keen on football."
  4. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    Also, "keen on" is not an option in AE.
  5. Hermione Golightly

    Hermione Golightly Senior Member

    SW London
    British English
    To be 'keen on' somebody, can indicate romantic feelings with potential sexual interest, whereas 'fond of' doesn't, although it does imply some degree of platonic love for a person but not necessarily very much. I love my best friends and I am fond of some of their partners. I am fond of many of my acquaintances. Luckily I am not keen on any of my friends' or acquaintances' partners.
    A man or woman who is only 'fond of' their grandchildren is to be pitied. I would die for mine if I knew it would ensure their well -being.

    'Keen on' means some fairly high degree of enthusiasm about a topic of interest or an activity. I am keen on my hobbies, interests, aims and various social and political causes, otherwise I would not pursue them or support them. In this respect, I've decided as I write this post that 'keen on' is a rather casual, informal term. I would never use it for the few things I feel deeply passionate about. To take a non- controversial topic, the crime of 'drink- driving', in British English, is not a topic I would say I was 'keen on', (or 'keen about'), because I feel very strongly indeed about it.

    I am very fond of certain TV shows in which wrong-doers get caught out, or incompetents get shown up, or judgement is made. Talking very casually, I might say' I just love... ' or 'I am fond of' 'Nothing to Declare', 'Border Control UK', 'Judge Judy', Gordon Ramsey "Kitchen Nightmare" type shows and such like. I wouldn't exactly say "I am keen on" them because my interest isn't great enough.
    I am extremely fond of reading recipes for food I have no intention of cooking and don't even like. But I am not "keen on" this activity. I'm just very curious about how all sorts of things are done or made.

  6. Tazzler Senior Member

    American English
    Hmm, I wonder if some Americans use it. I myself might use it.
  7. George French Senior Member

    English - UK
    Keen on music tends to suggest that you actively listen to/play/ music etc.
    Fond of music tends to suggest you like (some) music.


    I am fond of many Beethoven symphonies but if an not so keen on his works that I go to concerts to hear his music when his works are being performed locally... I am slightly more keen on Mozart.
  8. Santanawinds Senior Member

    English - USA
    As a fellow Californian, I have used both "keen on" and "fond of".
  9. Raff74 New Member

    Italian - Italy
    I think I have understood! Thanks for your kindness..... :)
  10. MaryBri New Member

    Italian - Italy
    Hi everybody,

    If I have understood, I can use keen on when I am very interested in a subject (not a person) but it is quite informal.
    So, what about if I need to be formal?
    I want to write in a Cv that 'I have a law background but I am keen on Marketing' (I like it, I would like to work in this field, I am well-informed about this subject etc.).

    Thank you!
  11. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Oddly enough, you could use the very same word 'keen' to make it more formal, for instance -- but I have developed a keen interest in marketing.
  12. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    The other day a student said "She wasn't very fond of the idea of her daughter('s) going with him". I, personally, would have used "keen on" in that sentence, but I wonder if the rest of you have a preference, especially now that I have read that "keen on" is not so widely used in American English. Also, would it make any difference to you if we omitted the words "the idea of"? I am not asking about "her daughter" vs "Her daughter's".
    Thank you all.
  13. DonnyB

    DonnyB Senior Member

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    As a personal preference I'd use "keen on the idea". I do think the sentence works better with "the idea of" but on the other hand it comes across as a bit odd to me to talk about being fond of an idea.
  14. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    My take on inib's NEW QUESTION (post 12) is the same as DonnyB's.
  15. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    Thanks both. I didn't actually correct the student's sentence, but when I repeated it myself, my version subconsciously came out with the switch to "keen on". The student picked up on it and wanted to know why. I still wonder if American English speakers would agree with our preference.
  16. bennymix

    bennymix Senior Member

    Ontario, Canada. I grew up in US.
    English (American).
    I don't believe I heard 'keen on' in California, *except* from my Canadian grandparents. As to 'having a keen interest,' maybe that would fly in AE, though it sounds a bit Brit. I think we say, "I have a strong interest" or 'avid' or even 'compelling.'
  17. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Hi inib
    If I didn't want to use "keen on" for some reason - perhaps because I was talking to an AmE audience - I still wouldn't use "fond of": I'd probably use "happy about": She wasn't very happy about the idea of her daughter('s) going with him.
  18. srk Senior Member

    South Bend, Indiana
    English - US
    I think Loob has it exactly right from an AE perspective.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  19. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    Thank you very much for the 3 latest replies. It's comforting to find that "fond of" didn't sound a bit odd only to me.

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