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Bored vs. Boring (ED and ING Adjectives)
- (NG) I was very exciting at the party.
- (OK) I was very excited at the party.
- (NG) The meeting was bored because it was so long.
- (OK) The meeting was boring because it was so long.
Grammar words and phrases in context
New York is a very exciting city. I’m sure that if you came here, you would be amazed by the tall buildings, fascinating musicals, and interesting people. I am sure you would be impressed with the variety of restaurants in the Big Apple too. You might find that doing a lot of walking here is tiring, but you’ll never feel bored.
Bored (ED Participle Adjectives)
Words like bored, excited, interested, amazed, disappointed, etc. describe people and how a person feels about something. We generally use the be verb or feel with these adjectives and the subject of the sentence is a person, not a thing. Remember, people are ed!
- I felt tired yesterday so I went to bed early.
- I’m interested in jazz.
- Jack was excited when he won the lottery!
Boring (ING Participle Adjectives)
Words like boring, exciting, interesting, amazing, disappointing, etc. describe things and the reason a person has a certain feeling about something. We generally use the be verb with these adjectives and the subject of the sentence is a thing or situation, not a person. Remember, things are ing!
- My job is tiring. I need a vacation.
- I think jazz is very interesting.
- Winning the lottery is very exciting!
Here are some more examples using both types of adjectives:
- The party was boring, so I was bored.
- I am so excited because this roller coaster is exciting.
- This lesson is interesting, so I am very interested in it.
We can also use ING participle adjectives to describe a person’s character or personality:
- The CEO is an interesting ← His personality is interesting, so he is interesting.
- My history teacher was boring. ← His personality is boring, so he is boring.
Irregular participle adjectives
Not every set of participle adjectives follows the ED or ING pattern. Here are some common exceptions:
scared – scary
- I was scared because the movie was scary.
impressed – impressive
- His speech was impressive, so I was impressed with it.
stressed – stressful
- Driving in rush hour traffic is so stressful. I am always stressed when I have to do it.
offended – offensive
- Of course, I was offended by what he said. It was very offensive.