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

Do you know the difference between bored and boring?

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'

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Language level

A1 English level (elementary)
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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

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

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

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

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

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.

Hi dugny36,

'Matching' means having the same characteristic or a complementary characteristic as something else, especially something visual such as a colour or a design. Here are some examples:

  • My wife and I wore matching T-shirts.
  • James is wearing a shirt with a matching tie.

See the Cambridge Dictionary page on 'matching' here for more explanation and examples:

'Matched' is similar in meaning, but is mainly used for non-visual similarities. It emphasises the idea that the two items have already been put together. Some examples:

  • The players were evenly matched. (i.e., they had a similar skill level)
  • They have been married for years. They are a well matched pair.

I hope that helps.


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you for impressive education. I had annoyed for first test but second test was excited for me.

This is a fabulous lesson. I'm extremely excited about it. Daily in the morning, I learn grammar. And I'm trying to improve it. This course helps me a lot.

This lesson is very exciting,I am realy excited.
My brother is very tired,his work is realy boring.

Hello! Thank you so much for such useful lesson! Can you tell me, please, which ending have I to add in this case "The idea of affordable green housing is a criticizing/ criticized topic, with some critics saying that it is a fallacy" It must be ending -ing, am I right? Or, maybe, I can use both variants? Thank you in advance!

Hi LayaGol,

It should be 'criticised' ('The idea of affordable green housing is criticised, with some critics saying ...). The meaning is that the idea is criticised by people (i.e., by critics).

Not all adjectives have both -ed and -ing forms. The word 'criticising' doesn't exist as an adjective, only as an -ing verb form.

I hope that helps.

The LearnEnglish Team

Learnt something new today - 'ed' adjective as the emotion and 'ing' as adjective to cause the emotion. Thanks.

Dear learnenglish team, You're really doing great for helping us improve our English skills. But, I was just wondering how can I identify the lessons I have taken to avoid confusing about where I am.

Hello Maahir,

We don't keep a record of which pages have been visited or which tasks have been completed by each user. Perhaps one day we'll add this functionality, but for the moment you'll need to use your own memory or keep your own records.



The LearnEnglish Team

When the abj end with ed it's describe someone feeling or emotion and other think It's cause of emotion or feeling understand this think but some it's make me confusing.
This lesson is really great and helpful to me.I. clearly understand your explanations about the difference between "ed" and "ing". Thank u for your clear explanations.
Hello! You said adjectives plus ed plus ing .So, the question is here , why there are some adjectives we do not add ed or ing for them? For example - ill , angry , sad and so on .Thanks .

Hi rational1,

The adjectives with -ed and -ing are made from verbs (e.g. bored and boring come from the verb bore; annoyed and annoying come from the verb annoy).

But not all adjectives are like this. Some adjectives aren't made from verbs, like the examples you mentioned.

Does that make sense?


The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for these explanations and exercises.You're helping too much students all over the world