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 Ro Htan on Fri, 16/06/2023 - 14:55


Traveling abroad is thrilling to me and it makes me interesting.

Submitted by KirkWAI on Tue, 23/05/2023 - 02:52


I have confuesed about the answear That shop never has any customers. I'm ___ it's still there. Why use surprised not use surprising. I choosed surprising because the shop still there make me feel surprising, -ing generally describe the thing that causes the emotion. Can you explain what is the reason?

Many thanks

Hi KirkWAI,

As you say, the -ing form generally describe the thing that causes the emotion. Here, the shop no having customers causes the emotion. The -ed form describes the person which feels the emotion. Here, the speaker feels the emotion. Thus, we can say this:

The shop has no customers but it is still there. This is surprising. I am surprised.



The LearnEnglish Team


Submitted by elianaenglishbbc on Thu, 18/05/2023 - 14:05



Can you help me about understandig excercise?

She's a big dog but you don't need to be ________

For me the answer is frightening because the big dog causes the emotion .

But the test say is frightened

I can understand.

Thank´s for help me.

Hi elianaenglishbbc,

The answer is "frightened" because the subject is "you", and you feel the emotion: She's a big dog but you don't need to be frightened.

"Frightening" can be used if the subject is still the dog, for example: She's a big dog but she isn't frightening.

Does that make sense?


LearnEnglish team

Submitted by EiThu on Sat, 06/05/2023 - 14:23


May I know about the condensed and condensing as well as devastating and devastated. How can I describe them which are not related with human feeling.

Hi EiThu,

"Condensed" means "made more concentrated", e.g. condensed milk / a condensed gas / a condensed version (of something longer). I'm not familiar with "condensing" used as an adjective.

"Devastated" means damaged or almost completely destroyed, e.g. the town was devastated. It describes the thing that received the damage. "Devastating" describes the thing that caused the damage, e.g. the devastating impact of the company's closure

I hope that helps.


LearnEnglish team

Submitted by victguevara on Sat, 15/04/2023 - 02:15


I had been tired in the morning because I couldn't sleep well last night although I had an interesting day with little work to do.

Submitted by Youness.K on Tue, 11/04/2023 - 04:29


this lesson war really intersting even though i get a little bit bored