Interested and Interesting: adjectives with -ed and -ing ending

Interested and Interesting.
Bored and Boring.
Tired and Tiring.
Shocked and Shocking.
Excited and Exciting.
Astonished and Astonishing.
Annoyed and Annoying.
Depressed and Depressing.

These pairs of adjectives are frequently confused. There's a pattern that can help you figure out whether to use the ones with the _ed or the _ing ending.

Adjectives with _ED ending

Adjectives with the _ed ending come before nouns receiving the action, so playing a passive role.  It's usually applied to people who are spectators or participants of an activity:

I left because I was getting borED (The situation is borING, so it bores ME).
We're interested in travelling to India (India is interestING, so it interests US).
I felt very tirED after doing sport (Sport is tirING, so it tires ME).

Adjectives with _ING ending

Adjectives with the _ing ending come before nouns doing the action, so playing an active role.  It's usually applied to activities or events, sometimes people doing something:

I stopped meeting these guys, they're really borING (I'm borED because THEY bore me).
Read this book, it's very interestING! (I'm interestED in it, because THE BOOK interests me).
I won't go surfing again, it's too tirING (I'm tirED, because SURFING tires me).


  1. Thanks for sharing this nice post. It is very difficult to convey points properly to the listener, if you don't make your mind before speaking something in English.

    English Speaking Tips


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