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Adjectives ending in -ed and -ing

Adjectives that end ‘-ed’ (e.g. ‘bored’, ‘interested’) and adjectives that end ‘-ing’ (e.g. ‘boring’, ‘interesting’) are often confused.

-ed adjectives

Adjectives that end ‘-ed’ describe emotions – they tell us how people feel about something.

  • I was very bored in the maths lesson. I almost fell asleep.
  • He was surprised to see Helen. She’d told him she was going to Australia.
  • Feeling tired and depressed, he went to bed.

-ing adjectives

Adjectives that end ‘-ing’ describe the thing that causes the emotion – a boring lesson makes you feel bored.

  • Have you seen that film? It’s absolutely terrifying.
  • I could listen to him for hours. He’s one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met.
  • I can’t eat this! It’s disgusting! What is it?

Remember that people can be boring but only if they make other people feel bored.

  • He talks about the weather for hours. He’s so boring.
  • NOT I was very boring at the party so I went home.

Here are some more adjectives that can have both an ‘-ed’ and an ‘-ing’ form

  • amused
  • amusing
  • annoyed
  • annoying
  • confused
  • confusing
  • disappointed
  • disappointing
  • excited
  • exciting
  • exhausted
  • exhausting
  • frightened
  • frightening
  • satisfied
  • satisfying
  • shocked
  • shocking
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