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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


Thank you very much for all lessons.

Hello BBC,

i can't describe how amazing i felt last night ? OR

i can't describe how amazed i feel last night ?

Hello lima9795

The first one is correct.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello lima9795

There are two issues here. First, your sentence 'i can't describe how amazed i feel last night' is grammatically incorrect -- the verb 'feel' needs to be in a past tense ('felt').

Second, if you looked these adjectives up the dictionary, you'd see that you can say both 'I am amazing' and 'I am amazed'. Note that we didn't include the adjective 'amazing' anywhere on this page, and also note that the explanation above says 'generally describe'.

On this page, we've tried to explain the basic aspects of this grammar as simply as possible, but it doesn't cover absolutely every instance of this kind of language.

Best wishes


The LearnEnglish Team

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