Adjectives with -ED and -ING endings – General rules

Are you excited or exciting?

Is the music bored or boring?

Did you hear surprising news, or surprised news?


Adjectives ending with “-ING” describe the experience or the thing that causes the feeling. If you want to describe how an activity, event or situation was; you need to use adjectives with “-ING” endings (If something is confusing, it makes you feel confused).

Questions you can ask yourself: What is the source of the feeling? or What is causing the feeling?


Examples of “-ING” adjectives in sentences:

It is amazing.

How was the concert? It was exciting.

‘The Matrix Revolutions’ is a boring movie.


You can also use “-ING” adjectives to describe people, their qualities and actions, if they influence your feelings in a certain way. In this case, the person or their behavior is the cause of your feelings.

A question you could ask yourself: Is this person (people) causing or receiving the feeling that I am describing? 



He is an amazing person.

She started the presentation in an exciting way.

Jack has a boring voice.



adjectives interesting vs interested


Adjectives ending with “-ED” describe how people feel. They are only used for describing people and animals, because it is believed that only people and animals are capable of feeling. They do not describe objects and other things, because they do not have feelings. A “thing” can be a source of a feeling, but it cannot experience the feeling.


Examples of “-ED” adjectives in sentences:

I am amazed.

How do you feel about the merger? I am very excited.

Susan looked so bored when we were watching that movie.




Ten “-ED” and “-ING” adjectives to add to your vocabulary


charmed – charming

fulfilled – fulfilling

inspired – inspiring

relaxed – relaxing

surprised – surprising



annoyed – annoying

confused – confusing

frustrated – frustrating

tired – tiring

worried – worrying


To build your vocabulary further, you can read the post “List of participial adjectives / Adjectives with –ED and –ING endings” for a longer list of such adjectives.

Test yourself:










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