How to use adjectives ending in -ed and -ing (level 2-3)

Hello everyone. Roy here.

Today I want to talk about the difference between -ed and -ing adjectives.

For example, what is the difference between “interested” and “interesting?”

Many students often use the wrong one which sounds very unnatural! If you remember 2 simple rules you can make your English sound much more natural when using these kinds of adjectives.

  1. We use -ed adjectives to talk about a feeling (how a person feels) or an emotion.
    Usually these feelings or emotions can be temporary. Because only people or animals have feelings and emotions, we must use -ed adjectives with people or animal subjects.
  2. We use -ing adjectives to talk about the characteristic of a thing (特徴), person (性格), or situation. We are describing a thing, person, or situation.

So, some examples!

  • “My friend is bored.” = My friend feels bored. (an emotion my friend is feeling)


  • “My friend is boring.” = My friend is a boring person. My friend is not fun to talk or to hang out with. (a characteristic of my friend)

As you can see, the two sentences are very different in meanings. The second one is a little bit rude!

Here is another one.

  • “I heard many good things about the new Lion King movie. I haven’t watched it yet but I am interested!” = まだ見てないけど興味がある (my feeling about wanting to watch the movie)


  • “I watched the new Lion King movie last weekend. The movie was interesting.” = Lion Kingが面白かった (describing the movie, it was good!)


Often, we can say the same thing with both kinds of adjectives. We just have to be careful about the subject. 主語に気をつけましょう。

  • “I don’t understand this grammar. I am confused!”


  • “I don’t understand this grammar. It is confusing!”

Both sentences express the same information: the grammar is difficult and I do not understand it. We just have to make sure to use the -ed adjective with a person who is feeling confused (I) and we have to make sure to use the -ing adjective with the thing that we are describing as confusing (it: the grammar.)

That’s it! If you can remember those rules, you can use any of these pair adjectives correctly. There are many! Here is a list of common pairs to get you started. Please check any new words in a dictionary (not Google Translate please!) and try to use one in a sentence next time in class.

See you in class!

Amused – Amusing
Annoyed – Annoying
Bored – Boring
Confused – Confusing
Depressed – Depressing
Disappointed – Disappointing
Embarrassed – Embarrassing
Encouraged – Encouraging
Entertained – Entertaining
Excited – Exciting
Exhausted – Exhausting
Fascinated – Fascinating
Frightened – Frightening
Frustrated – Frustrating
Inspired – Inspiring
Interested – Interesting
Moved – Moving
Perplexed – Perplexing
Relaxed – Relaxing
Relieved – Relieving
Satisfied – Satisfying
Shocked – Shocking
Surprised – Surprising
Terrified – Terrifying
Thrilled – Thrilling
Tired – Tiring
Touched – Touching
Worried – Worrying