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The differences between adjectives with ING and ED

adjectives with ING and EDThe differences between adjectives with ING and ED. In this lesson, we will look at the difference between adjectives that end with ING and ED. Here are some examples:

  • I think football is boring. I am bored by football.
  • This book is interesting. I am interested in this book.

When we are describing a thing (football, a book), we use ING. When we are describing how we feel (feel bored, feel interested), we use ED.

Let’s give an example by describing a film (American English: movie)

  • This was an exciting film. The jokes were amusing and the story was not confusing. The ending was surprising, but some of the actors were annoying.

Because we are describing things, we use the ING form – exciting film, amusing jokes, the story is not confusing, surprising ending, annoying actors. Now let’s write the description another way:

  • I was excited by the film. I was amused by the jokes and I wasn’t confused by the story. I was surprised by the ending, and I was annoyed by some of the actors.

In the second description, the writer is talking about their feelings about things.

A good way to help your remember is this: +ING is the cause and +ED is the feeling. For example, a boring film (the cause) makes you feel bored (the feeling).

Here’s a list of common adjectives that can have an ED or ING ending:


annoyed annoying
amused amusing
bored boring
confused confusing
disappointed disappointing
frightened frightening
surprised surprising
worried worrying

Now test your skills with a quick exercise. Click the link in the table below to get started.


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The differences between adjectives with ING and ED

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The differences between adjectives with ING and ED