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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'

Language level

Beginner: A1
Pre-intermediate: A2


I think that " -ed" is for living and "-ing" is for things. Am I right?

Hello Hlaingbobo Win,

That's not quite right. You can use both forms with people and things.

The difference is this: adjectives ending in -ing describe how a person or thing affects others, while adjectives ending in -ed describe how a person or things feels or is changed.

That was a boring film. I didn't enjoy it.

Paul is interesting. I like listening to him

I have a broken computer so I can't send you the document.

Do you have a working computer? I need to send an email.



The LearnEnglish Team

Your lessons are the best, they never make me bored.

Hi vanessa Rodri,

That's great! Thanks for your kind comment :)


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you again, The Adjectives list is very helpful,

so confusing. sometimes i am interested in to do more tasks to keep our mind so much time...

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).



The LearnEnglish Team

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,


The LearnEnglish Team