English has many adjectives that describe feelings that end in ~ed or ~ing, such as bored and boring. These adjectives actually come from verbs. For example:
- This book bores (verb) me. The book is boring (adjective). I am bored (adjective).
- This movie interests (verb) me. The movie is interesting (adjective). I am interested (adjective).
These adjectives are called participial adjectives. They are made by the participle of a verb. For regular verbs, participles end in ~ing (boring, the present participle) or ~ed (bored, the past participle).
Students often have difficulty choosing the correct adjective in a sentence. This lesson will explain how to use them correctly.
Adjectives that Describe Causes of Feelings: ~ing Adjectives
Adjectives like boring/interesting describe something that causes a feeling. For example:
It was a boring movie. The movie was boring. <– The movie is the cause of the feeling. It creates the feeling.
Adjectives that Describe Feelings: ~ed Adjectives
Adjectives like bored/interested describe the person (or animal) that is affected by this feeling. For example:
She was a bored girl. The girl was bored. <– She, the girl, is the one who feels the feeling. She is the feeler.
These adjectives always describe a living thing that can feel (a person, animal, or alien maybe!). A thing (e.g. a book) cannot be bored. But, it can be boring.
Be Careful: People Can Cause Feelings
Sometimes the cause of a feeling isn’t a book or a movie. Sometimes, it’s another person. For example, there are interesting books and there are interesting people. My friend Jay is interesting. He is the cause of the feeling of interest in people he talks to. For example:
Carol had a date with John. John was boring. Carol was bored, so she left.
Common Participial Adjectives
Here are some basic adjectives that students should know.
|verb||~ing adj (describes cause)||~ed adjective (describes feeler)|
There are many more participial adjectives as well.
Do you think you understand? Take the Quiz!
This grammar lesson bores me. I am because grammar is .
English doesn’t excite me. English is not so I am not .
My job is . I have to carry heavy boxes all day. When I get home from work, I’m . If there is an show on TV, I’ll watch it. If not, I’ll go to bed.
I’m taking an English course at university. It is difficult. Sometimes English grammar is . Yesterday, my teacher tried to explain participial adjectives. I was . I was that everyone understood it but me.
I don’t like people who speak loudly on their mobile phones. They are . Sometimes it sounds like they are arguing. Maybe they are just about what they are talking about.
This grammar lesson bores me. I am bored because grammar is boring.
English doesn’t excite me. English is not exciting so I am not excited.
My job is tiring. I have to carry heavy boxes all day. When I get home from work, I’m tired. If there is an interesting show on TV, I’ll watch it. If not, I’ll go to bed.
I’m taking an English course at university. It is difficult. Sometimes English grammar is confusing. Yesterday, my teacher tried to explain participial adjectives. I was confused. I was surprised that everyone understood it but me.
I don’t like people who speak loudly on their mobile phones. They are annoying. Sometimes it sounds like they are arguing. Maybe they are just excited about what they are talking about.
– Matthew Barton of Englishcurrent.com