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 (168 votes)
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Hello vannarahay,

The explanation is on the page above - I'm not sure what I can add to it!


In brief, -ed adjectives describe feelings and -ing adjectives describe characteristics. For example:

The film is frightening. [this tells us about the film]

I was frightened in the cinema. [this tells us about how I felt]



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Cris.-2023 on Sat, 14/10/2023 - 00:51


I was so tired that I didn't listen my teacher's lessons.

Submitted by arabi on Mon, 25/09/2023 - 17:06


i am excited to finish this level with you , now i can use prepositions with adjectives in right sentences , and i can describe feeling of me or people .
i was confused about adjectives between -ed and -ing , but now i am sure

Submitted by on Mon, 18/09/2023 - 15:56


I understand the difference. If we talk about people's feelings and want to describe them we should use -ed. However, if we want to describe something that causes the feeling, we should use -ing to describe that thing.

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