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 (165 votes)

Submitted by Shithila Weerasinghe on Wed, 13/09/2023 - 06:13


It was really interesting lesson. I was interested.

Submitted by Mohamed Alkady on Mon, 21/08/2023 - 04:14


I could listen to her for hours. She's so interesting.
Is that correct?
I think the phrase describing she it might be(she's so interested).
or we can say (her speech is so interesting)

Hi Mohamed Alkady,

Actually, "She's so interesting" is correct. If you say "She's so interested", it means that "she" feels interest that is caused by someone/something else, which is not the situation here.

In this example, the speaker of the sentences may say "I'm so interested". But to talk about the other person, it should be "She's so interesting" because she is causing the speaker to feel interested. It's fine to use -ing adjectives to describe people if they are the cause of the effect (e.g. The teacher is boring /  James is very annoying).

Yes, you could also say "Her speech is so interesting" if the cause of the interest is her speech.

Does that make sense?


LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Hulawa on Sat, 12/08/2023 - 17:21


Hello sir.
Please answer to me this.
Students are exciting /excited about their excursion.

Hello Hulawa,

Here we need an adjective which tells us how the students feel, so we use the -ed adjective: Students are excited about...

I explained this in a little more detail in my answer to your other question on the same topic (with the example about the bear).



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello! İ have a good solution for this problem. Look! Action can do only people and animals, alive subjects. Things can't do action. Ok. So if we speak about people you can use -ed (verb +Ed=action). İf you speak about things you can use -ing (verb +ing= adjective). For example
Movie was boring. We were bored about this movie
Students are excited about the lesson. The lesson is exciting

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Submitted by Ahmed-Hussien on Mon, 03/07/2023 - 13:18


actually, I understood the difference between adjectives ending in '-ed' and adjectives ending in '-ing- ,But in the first sentence the pronoun for the dog was she
do we use pronouns he and she with animals or we use it ?