Many people confuse adjectives that end in –ING and those ending in -ED, so they say sentences such as “I am interesting in sports“. This sentence is grammatically incorrect, it shows the speaker as unable to communicate properly, and the speaker fails to say what he or she wanted to say with the sentence. What the speaker actually wanted to say was: “I am interested in sports,” which means that he or she likes sports.

I will provide you with a more specific and personal example of something that I experienced in my class.
A few days ago, one of my students told me ” I was boring before I came to your class.” Now, grammatically, this sentence can be correct. However, my student didn’t want to say that she was a boring person, therefore she failed to express herself well. Luckily, after hearing an explanation on how we use these adjectives, she was able to correct herself, and she said: “Okay, then I can say that I was bored before I came to your class,” and by saying that, she expressed the meaning she wanted to express.
A few days ago, another one of my students made a similar mistake, but in this case the mistake caused him to sound arrogant instead of positively surprised. Instead of saying ” I am amazed with this class,” he said ” I am amazing in this class.” Indeed, the student was amazing, and he did participate very well. However, he is not the kind of person who would speak so highly of himself. What he wanted to say is that he was positively surprised with the way the class was going and with how the materials were comprised. Besides correcting the adjectives, we also needed to correct the use of prepositions, as instead of ‘in’ he needed to use ‘with’.


There is a big difference between using adjectives ending in-ED and those ending in -ING. Buy now, you probably already understand what the difference is. But just in case there is still some confusion left in you, I will take my time to explain it.
Adjectives ending in -ED are used to talk about how we feel and what we think.

For example, when you say “I am/feel bored when I watch action movies,” you are saying that action movies are not fun for you at all, and that you don’t feel interested. When you say ” I am/feel confused“, this means that something is not clear for you; something is confusing. When you say that you are disappointed, it means let somebody disappointed you.
On the other hand, adjectives ending in -ING are used to talk about the characteristics of things or people.


For instance we can say that someone is an interesting/amazing person (He is interesting/amazing). We can also say that someone is a boring person. A situation can also be interesting, amazing, or boring. There are so many of these adjectives that we could take as an example. As a matter of fact, I will write a few sentences to make all of this a little bit more clear.

  1. I am interested in taking those interesting classes. The teacher teaching them is also very interesting.
  2. Business people are bored when they have to attend boring meetings with boring people for hours.
  3. I was so amazed last year when I went travelling with some amazing people and I saw some amazing sights.
  4. Your trip got cancelled? Those are disappointing news. I suppose you are very disappointed. This agency is quite disappointing, don’t book any more trips with them.
  5. Mary was so annoyed last night. He was supposed to spend time with some annoying people listening to their annoying stories.

Other adjectives that you could take as an example and practice with are:
Shocked/ shocking, frightened / frightening, inspired/ inspiring, amused/ amusing, disgusted/ disgusting, charmed/ charming, disturbed/ disturbing, embarrassed / embarrassing, frustrated/ frustrating, insulted/ insulting, moved/ moving, pleased/ pleasing, etc.

Of course, by searching the adjectives ending in -ING and those ending in -ED, you will find more of these adjectives that you can use for your practice.
Hopefully, this article has helped you understand that difference between these types of adjectives a little bit better, and you will use the knowledge you acquired to express yourself more accurately and fluently. I know that my students learn very quickly from these kinds of explanations, so I wanted to share with the public as well.
If you should have any questions feel free to leave a comment or contact me via email provided at the bottom of the page.

Post Author: Jelena Ciric Rapos

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