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'

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Submitted by ah2500 on Thu, 04/07/2024 - 07:04


Hello, I have a question regarding this topic. We learned that we use the adjectives that end with ing to describe things or people, but we use the adjectives that end with ed to describe what we feel or what someone feels. on the website of Oxford dictionary I found these sentences, could a teacher please explain to me how I can use " confused" in this way and what would these sentences mean if I used " confusing" ? because I am now confused.

  • The children gave a confused account of what had happened.
  • His mind was crowded with confused thoughts.
  • A confused situation followed the military coup.


Hello ah2500,

The explanation is correct but 'confused' can also mean 'unclear' or 'badly organised', and this is the meaning in these sentences. Accounts, thoughts and situations can be confused, and so can explanations, answers and reasoning, for example.



The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for the response, Mr. Peter. So, confused in these sentences means " unclear." Correct me if I am wrong, please!

These instructions are confused = these instructions are unclear.

These instructions are confusing = these instructions makes me confused.

This is how we can use confused to describe things because things don't feel confused, right? I hope that the other adjectives that end in ed don't have another meanings like confused. It's gonna be a mess.


Submitted by Teacher Tamires on Tue, 25/06/2024 - 20:11


On the street where I live there many people talking very loud that is really annoying to me.

In my house many people are bored.

I am worried about my job.

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Submitted by redpanda88 on Fri, 31/05/2024 - 03:48


lets say i was watching a movie last night and it was a horror movie. i was scared throughout the movie.

now, can i describe the whole event as:

"I was frightened of the movie"

Hello redpanda88,

We use 'frightened of' when the presence of something or the thought of it causes fear. You can be frightened of spiders, storms or ghosts, for example. Saying you were frightened of the movie suggests that it made you feel fear without even watching it, which is a different meaning. The right way to express your meaning is I was frightened by the movie or (more likely) The movie frightened me.



The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by shram98 on Mon, 25/03/2024 - 02:09


I was tired cuz he's tiring me.

He's bored cuz I'm boring him.