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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Soumis par Rissa le mar 24/11/2020 - 02:55

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Thanks, British Council. The lesson is very helpful. But I wonder, Is there any list of adjectives that only use -ed or -ing?

Hello Rissa,

I'm not aware of any such list. In fact, I can think of many adjectives which are neither -ing or -ed, but very few adjectives which only occur in one form, such as hardworking. There are also examples where the -ing form is not an adjective at all, such as misunderstanding, and the adjectival form is a past participle (misunderstood - an irregular form rather than the regular -ed).

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par Ayuloraine sit… le lun 16/11/2020 - 03:26

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so i was wonder about that end in "ed and "ing. is the adjective only for past?

Hello Ayuloraine sitanggang,

No, you can use these adjectives to speak about any time. It's usually the verb that indicates the time -- for example:

She was worried.
She will be worried.
She is worried.

Does that make sense?

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par Khin Khin Htet le lun 09/11/2020 - 15:22

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After I read and practice, I was clear this pattern. BC's grammar explanation is really easy to understand for learners !

Soumis par June Pann Phyu le dim 25/10/2020 - 02:11

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I am really confused about this pattern before this time but now I am sure clear. Thanks a lot BC.

Soumis par Moon Wathan le jeu 22/10/2020 - 15:32

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I think lessons are short. I suggest to have many lessons in here because we need to do more to understand this topic.

Soumis par Nurieta le mar 13/10/2020 - 10:40

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I think lesson was short and very interesting!

Soumis par Wai Myo Aung le mar 13/10/2020 - 05:57

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I was interested in this lesson as it wasn't boring

Soumis par polina1526 le lun 12/10/2020 - 17:31

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This grammar rule seems quite hard for many language learners who often get confused which ending is needed. The explanation here is very helpful because it clearly shows not only the rule itself but also few examples of how to use it properly. And if you take the test that goes after the explanation, you will not have any troubles with adjectives ending in '-ed' and '-ing' again.

Soumis par CELSO JAYA CABRERA le sam 10/10/2020 - 00:33

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I love it, everything is so intersting. Thanks God.

Soumis par taha_subaie le dim 04/10/2020 - 07:42

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this is very interesting topic , i was confused before , but now it's crystal clear , thank you very much

Soumis par shawn peter ru… le mer 30/09/2020 - 09:23

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this subject was not boring and i was not bored this subject was interesting and i was interested this subject was not confusing and i was not confused, thank you very much

Soumis par SarRax le dim 27/09/2020 - 13:35

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These exercises were interesting and exciting! I was not bored!

Soumis par Sonia Carla le sam 26/09/2020 - 23:38

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Hi!!! I am very surprised about this page. It's realy good to study English. Learn a new language is very exciting!

Soumis par SergeySSSS le dim 13/09/2020 - 06:54

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I don't remember when I read the rule, but there writed (ing) use with not animated and (ed) use with alive somebody example like a man or an animal.

Hello SergeySSSS,

That doesn't sound correct to me. Perhaps you can post an example of what you mean and we'll be happy to comment on it.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par solguzman le jeu 10/09/2020 - 01:19

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Really I didn’t understand why the next sentence uses interesting instead of interested: “I could listen to her for hours. She’s so interesting."

Hello solguzman,

We use adjectives ending in -ing to describe the quality of a thing; we use adjectives ending in -ed to describe our reaction to something.

Thus, a film can be interesting and I can be interested when I watch it.

In your example the woman is interesting (her quality). When I listen to her, I am interested (how I react/feel).

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par aniley le ven 21/08/2020 - 13:47

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This lesson is very interesting for me. I always forget to use the diferents endigs

Soumis par hannahbeigi le ven 14/08/2020 - 08:31

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This lesson is interesting. I am very excited for learning many things.

Soumis par shiyashamsu le sam 25/07/2020 - 06:51

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I am happy with the lessons. They are amazing.

Soumis par a1990 le ven 24/07/2020 - 19:56

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I am very excited about the lessons I learned here Many thanks

Soumis par Momocompanyman le ven 24/07/2020 - 12:32

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I'm so excited to learn and follow your course.

Soumis par Mohamed Mostafa le sam 18/07/2020 - 16:46

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I am really interested in that lesson. I 've never felt any boring with it.

Soumis par Marioara Bordei le mer 01/07/2020 - 02:55

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Was very interesting to do this exercises.

Soumis par Chetan posani le lun 15/06/2020 - 18:42

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Hi, I got a certificate and a gold medal because I got first in SOS in British council in India.

Soumis par Ira92 le ven 12/06/2020 - 00:24

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hi. Can you help me understand the grammatical role of each of the words in the following sentence? I am ashamed. subject+ to be+ p.p is correct?

Hello Ira92

'ashamed' is an adjective, not a past participle. The past participle of the verb 'to shame' is 'shamed'. Otherwise your analysis is correct.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

dear Kirk thanks for your answer. If possible, I would like to ask my questions in a different way. some Adjective make by adding 'ed' or 'ing' at end of Verb. as well past participle and continuous forms of that verb. My question is how to understand the grammatical role of these words in a sentence. for example: I am ashamed.(subj+to be+ adj): i feel embarrassed of something i have done. or I am ashamed.(subject+to be+p.p): i want to tell: "something make me ashame" in passive voice.

Hello again Ira92

I understand the question you are asking, but please note that 'ashamed' is always an adjective and never a past participle -- 'shamed' is the past participle of the verb 'shame'.

There are other many other cases where an adjective is formed from the past participle of a verb, i.e. it is identical in form to the past participle -- for example, all of the adjectives in the box above. 

Sometimes the grammar of a sentence will make it clear if one of these words is an adjective or a past participle that is part of a passive verb. For example, 'I was annoyed by the noise'. In this case, the phrase 'by the noise' is clearly the agent of the passive verb 'was annoyed'. But we could also say 'I was annoyed due to the noise'. In this case, there is no passive verb, so 'annoyed' is an adjective. Most of the time, in the end the meaning is pretty much the same, so the difference doesn't affect the meaning very much one way or the other.

Hope this helps you make sense of it.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par omanov le lun 01/06/2020 - 09:57

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thanks to the organizers of this site and tests