I understand the meaning when it is said like

'I am not a fan of Indian food or horror movies'

Here, you are a fan of things like movies, food etc.

but I do not understand why it is correct to say

'I am not a fan of negativity'.

'negativity' is not a tangible thing. Can we use 'fan' this way?

  • 3
    What is it you don't understand? Please clarify. Negativity - the expression of criticism of or pessimism about something. (google search definition)
    – shin
    Nov 26, 2015 at 5:02
  • I'm sorry my English isn't good enough to tell you what I wanted to say. I know the word negativity means. What I 'm trying to say is I don't get it why it is correct to say in English because the word a fan is someone who likes a particular thing. Negativity is intangible thing
    – colona
    Nov 26, 2015 at 5:25
  • 3
    Where did you get the idea that thing refers only to tangible things? "Liberty is the one thing you can't have unless you give it to others." (Wm A. White)
    – J.R.
    Nov 26, 2015 at 9:31
  • 1
    It's just a more idiomatic way of saying "I do not like". Nov 26, 2015 at 12:47
  • 1
    When you say "I am not a fan of ...." you are also implying that the thing is something people might be a fan of. So by saying "I am not a fan of negativity" the denotation is that you don't like negativity, but the connotation is that there are some people around who do like negativity. So it can be a veiled criticism.
    – Ben
    Nov 26, 2015 at 12:52

4 Answers 4


Colloquially, you can be a fan (or not a fan) of anything, abstract or concrete, tangible or intangible.

When it's used colloquially, be a fan of implies "like".

I'm a fan of Tom Cruise. ~ The speaker is a fan of the actor. They surely like the actor.
I'm not a fan of spicy food. ~ The speaker doesn't like spicy food much.

Here is a good example showing that the expression "a fan of" can be used with virtually anything. It's from the movie Edge of Tomorrow (the quote is from www.moviequotesandmore.com):

[as they drive along the main road in France]
Cage: You don’t talk much.
Rita: Not a fan.
Cage: Of talking?
Rita: Not a fan of talking, no.

It just means that Rita doesn't want to talk (with Cage) in that scene.

So, your I am not a fan of negativity simply means: I don't like negativity.


Aw! You can be a fan of someone or something as well! So, it's fine to say that you are a fan or not a fan of something.

Check the definition:

A person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular person or thing.

The thing could be tangible or intangible.

So, when you are not a big fan of negativity, you don't admire/like negativity.

However, in my personal opinion, I'd avoid using the word 'fan' there. I'd say - 'I don't favor negativity (of any kind).'

However, negativity should be explained for better clarity.


I don't think this expression is used in a formal context.

You can use it with anything you don't like I guess.

Not being a fan of negativity simply means that you don't like being negative. It means you are a positive and optimistic person.


You don't always use "I am not a (big) fan of X" for things like food or movies. You broadly use it for ideas/ideologies you hate or dislike.

I am not a (big) fan of negativity.

It means you are against negativity, you don't like people who are negative, or you are not a negative person depending on context.

I am not a (big) fan of those people.

You don't want to explicitly state that you hate those people. Depending on context, it could show your racism, homophobia or xenophobia, etc.

  • 1
    Hey, I'm a big fan of Indian/Italian/Mexican food is absolutely okay. And so is I'm a big fan of Bond movies! :)
    – Maulik V
    Nov 26, 2015 at 5:38
  • 3
    @MaulikV Yes, I agree. Those are not negative sentences. I am a big fan of your answers. :)
    – user24743
    Nov 26, 2015 at 5:48
  • 1
    Jumping straight from "I'm not a big fan of those people" to "I am secretly a racist" seems a bit excessive. That's a possible meaning, but it's by no means the only one, so the emphasis seems misplaced. Nov 26, 2015 at 17:48
  • @NathanTuggy That's why I used depending on context and could. What makes you think I jumped straight? I didn't. Show me why.
    – user24743
    Nov 26, 2015 at 17:51
  • @Rathony: That's the only implication listed. Nov 26, 2015 at 17:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .