Excited or exciting? What is the difference between -ed and -ing?

Bored or boring?

Go to FREE language and grammar exercises with -ed and -ing forms HERE

There are a number of adjectives that are formed from the past participle or the present participle of a verb

Examples are:

Interested/interesting, bored/boring, excited/exciting, stimulated/stimulating

Why do we use one or another?

The adjective with ed tells us about how a person feels about something.

The adjective with ing describes the person or things that have caused that feeling:

  • My Maths teacher, Mr. Smith, doesn’t like children and doesn’t like teaching. His classes are very boring and the students are bored when they are in his class.
  • Mr.Harrison teaches History, he loves his subject and wants to transmit his feelings to his students. His classes are very interesting and stimulating, the students  are never bored in his classes.
  • My children are very excited at the moment because we are all going skiing next weekend for the first time. They think that skiing must be a very exciting activity.

Remember that people can be boring but only if they cause other people to feel bored.

  • She talks about the her neighbours all day. She’s so boring.
  • I was bored at the party, the music was bad and I knew nobody NOT I was very boring at the party so I went home.

Here are some more adjectives that can have both an ‘-ed’ and an ‘-ing’ form

    • amused
    • amusing
    • annoyed
    • annoying
    • confused
    • confusing
    • disappointed
    • disappointing
    • exhausted
    • exhausting
    • frightened
    • frightening
    • satisfied
    • satisfying
    • shocked
    • shocking

Remember the ing form of the adjective (exciting, boring etc) is nothing to do with the Present Continuous verb form

For more information on how to form and use the Present Continuous. If you want to check out the meaning of English idioms and expressions this is the place to go

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