Adjectives ending in '-ed' and '-ing'

Adjectives ending in '-ed' and '-ing'

Do you know the difference between bored and boring? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

Look at these examples to see how adjectives ending in -ed and -ing are used.

I was really bored in that presentation.
That was a really boring presentation.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

Grammar test 1: Adjectives ending in '-ed' and '-ing'

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

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

-ed adjectives

Adjectives that end in -ed generally describe emotions – they tell us how people feel.

I was so bored in that lesson, I almost fell asleep.
He was surprised to see Helen after all those years.
She was really tired and went to bed early.

-ing adjectives

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

Have you seen that film? It's really frightening.
I could listen to her for hours. She's so interesting.
I can't sleep! That noise is really annoying!

Here are some adjectives that can have both an -ed and an -ing form.

annoyed annoying
bored boring
confused confusing
disappointed disappointing
excited exciting
frightened frightening
interested interesting
surprised surprising
tired tiring
worried worrying

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

Grammar test 2: Adjectives ending in '-ed' and '-ing'

Average: 4.4 (169 votes)

Submitted by anhhd on Wed, 26/10/2022 - 17:30


The interesting lesson makes me feel interested in studying english

Submitted by J-Castle on Mon, 26/09/2022 - 09:48


Many thanks, it was a really interesting lessons; I have been always confused with these adjectives.
An exciting explanation in order to not be worried about this part of grammar

Submitted by Ibrahimyousef on Sat, 17/09/2022 - 13:10


Thank you for explanation ending ed -ind adjectives and exercise ,task
it's great lesson.

Submitted by masri.ahm04 on Sat, 20/08/2022 - 19:48


Hello Learn English team,

Let get this example The man ......... of robbery and murder was finally acquitted of all the charges.
There are (accused) and (accusing).

Get one step backward, the word (accused) was in origin (the man who was accused), and the word (accusing) was in origin (the man who was accusing) or (the man who accuses), then if these adj. clauses are reduced, the connector (who) and the verb (was) were omitted.

The man did not accuse anyone, but he was accused. So I choose the word (accused), but according to the answer key of my book its (accusing).

I prepare to my exam after few days, and the reducing adj. clauses confused me a lot. Is there any method how to get correct answer?

Hello masri.ahm04,

The correct answer is 'accused' here, not 'accusing', and your reasoning is correct.

I can't say why your book has the wrong answer in its key. Perhaps it is a misprint or perhaps the question was changed during editing and the key was not, but I can confirm your answer and analysis.


As far as the more general topic goes, I think your analysis of this sentence shows you have a good understanding of the area. Here are some links which might help you:

defining relative clauses

participle clauses

reducing relative clauses (from the BBC)

reducing non-identifying relative clauses (from Cambridge)



The LearnEnglish Team

You are correct it should have another word in the sentence such as 'who was' or 'being' or 'that was' and it then should be accused

Submitted by Agness on Sat, 23/07/2022 - 17:18


Hello teacher
I want to ask why using "confused" in the sentence The instructions for my new coffee machine are really confused." is wrong

Hello Agness,

We could say that instructions which are not clear are confusing and that those instructions make us confused. 'confusing' describes what is not clear and 'confused' describes how we feel.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by najib.oulhouch on Mon, 06/06/2022 - 20:24


thank you, the lesson is very helpfull for me, i understand now a difference between these adjectives.

Submitted by dugny36 on Thu, 05/05/2022 - 13:35


Thanks LearnEnglish team
This lesson is very clear, but I am still struggling on these two adjectives : matched and matching that are not in the list. I don't know how to use them.
Thank you in advance for your help.