Grammar. 05.10.2011
Grammar Teacher

ADJECTIVES with –ing and –ed endings (for lower levels)

Автор: Grammar Teacher

There’s a large group of adjectives which can have an –ind or –ed ending. To name a few: excited-exciting, interested-interesting, annoyed-annoying. It is not difficult to notice that they are formed from verbs (to excite, to interest, to annoy). But what is the difference between them? This article will make it clear! 

For example, look at the following mini story:

When little Emily left her home, she went on an amazing walk through the winter countryside. The landscapes were so beautiful, that she couldn’t stop until she noticed that it was a late evening. Moreover, by that time she was very tired, because walking through the wood at this time of the year is really tiring. Suddenly it got dark and the girl was very scared! She’d never been alone in the wood so late! Finally after she had been missing for 4 hours the police helicopter spotted her among the trees. “We were all amazed how a girl of her age and size managed to get so far”, - said the policeman. Mrs. Waterhouse, Emily’s mother seemed really relieved when she finally saw her lost daughter. “I am so happy she wasn’t hurt. This is all really depressing”. But little Emily didn’t seem to worry anymore. Exhausted, she went to bed.

Both types of adjectives are present in the above story. The –ed adjectives (past participles - відповідник до нашого даєприкметника) describe a feeling caused by something or somebody else:

We were all amazed how a girl of her age and size managed to get so far.

(Our feeling was caused by how far she got)

The –ing adjectives (present participle - відповідник до нашого активного приктменика типу захоплюючий, шокуючий) describe somebody or something that causes a feeling:

 …she went on an amazing walk through the winter countryside.

(The walk causes the feeling – the walk was amazing, so the girl was amazed by it!)


So the –ing endings is used on adjectives which describe a person, thing or situation – an exciting book, a disgusting food, a relaxing music; the –ed ending is on adjectives which describe the effect this person, thing or situation has on us – an excited child, a disgusted woman, a relaxed man). Past participial adjectives ending in –ed modify the receiver of the feeling or emotion. Present participial adjectives ending in –ing modify the source of the feeling or emotion.

Look at the table to see more examples:



The situation

I feel… or I am…

This is… or It is…

1) I spilled water on my pants.

2) I want to learn about this new computer.

3) He's been talking about statistical formulas for hours!!

4) The hurricane is going to hit our city!

5) This fly keeps buzzing around my head.

6) I can't understand the instructions.

7) The teacher said that my English was getting better.

8) I'm listening to Martin Luther King's famous speech!

9) His argument was strong. He gave good reasons.

10) He shot and killed his wife after they had an argument!



bored to death











deadly boring











Another easy thing to notice is that adjectives ending in -ed often combine with personal subjects (apply to people) and those ending in -ing often combine with impersonal ones (apply to things):

This story excites me – I am excited by it - It is exciting.

Most -ing adjectives can also apply to people (The teacher was boring), but it’s almost impossible for ed-adjectives to apply to things.

Moreover, if you look deeper, you will see that past participle adjectives (-ed) have a passive meaning, while present participle adjectives (-ing) have an active meaning:





Check the following video to make sure you understand it:


And now do the traditional exercises:



Please, never get depressed, troubled, or disappointed, instead get excited, satisfied, and inspired with GREEN FOREST!











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