I read this sentence today , and I have some problem for exact meaning of keen , Is it equal to Loves so much , for example from here:

Johan is very keen on dogs and other animals.

Is it equal to :

Johan loves dogs and other animals so much.

And if they are equal where we should use keen instead Loves so much.


1 Answer 1


Keen (BrE) and love do not mean the same thing.

Keen is a British English expression meaning enthusiasm for or looking forward to or interest in

He was keen on getting a new dog as a pet.
He was very keen to see The Baggies this weekend.
She is keen to get the house done.

Keen can also mean a an affection for

Johan is very keen on dogs and other animals
He is very keen on the new girl in class
I'm not so keen on malted chips

There are different degrees of keen

very keen
quite keen

Keen is different to fancy (BrE), though both mean attraction towards.
Keen is to running where as fancy is to strolling

She was peckish and fancied a chocolate.
He had a hard day at work and was keen to get down to the pub.

The differences in describing degrees of interest are

Johan is keen on dogs (BrE)
Johan is interested in dogs (AmE)
Johan is a big fan of dogs (AmE)

Johan fancies dogs (BrE)
Johan loves dogs (BrE, AmE)
Johan is a dog-lover (BrE, AmE)

Do you fancy him? (BrE)
Are you in love with him? (AmE)
Do you have a crush on him? (AmE)

Johan is mad about dogs (BrE)
John is crazy about / obsessed with dogs (AmE)

  • 1
    Excellent answer, although I would like to quibble with one AE equivalency. Johan is interested in dogs (AmE) - I would say Johan is a big fan of dogs. Being a fan of something is more like being keen on it, because it implies a more active participation in liking sometthing.
    – Msfolly
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 18:43
  • 3
    "Keen" will be understood by American speakers as well, although you're right that it's more British than American.
    – stangdon
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 19:38
  • I can substantiate @stangdon's point. When I first came to grad school in the US and was writing a cover letter with the career services' help, they told me that saying "I am extremely keen to work for your company" is a British thing. Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 21:49

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