Adjectives Ending in 'ed' & 'ing'

Difficulty Level: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

In this lesson we will focus on learning when to use the 'ed' or 'ing' endings of adjectives. It is very simple to learn and understand. However, many ESL students still make this mistake.

Not many adjectives end in either -ed or -ing. However, the adjectives that do are very common.

Most Common '-ed' & '-ing' Adjectives

'ED' Adjectives 'ING' Adjectives
confused confusing
bored boring
tired tiring
shocked shocking
embarrassed embarrassing
humiliated humiliating
excited exciting
depressed depressing
satisfied satisfying
amazed amazing
convinced convincing
exhausted exhausting
interested interesting
relaxed relaxing

There are many more ed and ing adjectives. The ones found above are the most common.

How Do We Know When To Use Which?

'ED' Adjectives 'ING' Adjectives
Feeling Describing
Use the 'ed' form of an adjective when you are describing how people feel. Use the 'ing' form of adjectives when you are describing things and situations.
Usually 'ed' adjectives use I, he, she, they, we, you, and verbs like look, feel, in the sentence. 'Ing' adjective forms usually use the word 'it' in the sentence, and are describing an action or situation.
Ex. I get so confused when I try to solve math problems. Ex. Solving math problems can be so confusing.
Ex.2 My family was so surprised when they heard I was pregnant. Ex.2 It was surprising for my family when they heard I was pregnant.
Ex.3 My boyfriend is bored. (He feels bored. [feeling]) Ex.3 My boyfriend is boring. (He is a boring person. [describing])
Ex.4 My girlfriend was depressed when she didn't get the job. [feeling] Ex.4 Not getting the job was depressing for me girlfriend. [situation]


Remember animals can 'feel' too! For example: "My two dogs are easily frightened when they hear thunder."

Remember if something is happening like a situation use -ing. If someone is feeling use -ed.


  • 1.) My friends and I were ______ when we heard he was in an accident. (shocked / shocking)
  • 2.) Yes, thank you for the meal. It was very ______. (satisfied / satisfying)
  • 3.) What books are you really _____ in? (interested / interesting)
  • 4.) What book do you think is the most _____? (interested / interesting)
  • 5.) We're usually really ______ on the weekend. However, the weekdays can be ______. (relaxed / relaxing / exhausted / exhausting)
  • 6.) What's the most _____ thing about school? (bored / boring)
  • 7.) She's a good liar; she can be very _______. (convinced / convincing)
  • 8.) I can't believe how _____ her artwork is! (amazed / amazing)
  • 9.) What is the most ______ thing you have ever done? (excited / exciting)
  • 10.) It is not uncommon to get _____ when you take the subway for the first time. (confused / confusing.)


Match the words from column 1 with the best-suited answer from column 2.

Column 1 Column 2
1.) exhausted a.) red-faced
2.) humiliated b.) enthusiastic
3.) embarrassed c.) worn out / no energy
4.) depressed d.) very interesting
5.) fascinated e.) surprised in a negative way
6.) shocked f.) really sad
7.) excited g.) to feel ashamed

Daily Expressions, Phrasal Verbs & Idioms:

1.) 'Going out with': The person you are dating.

"How long have you two been going out for?" "I've been going out with her for almost a month now."

2.) "Count on": Someone you can depend on or trust.

"I wouldn't count on her if she was my project partner. She isn't a serious student."

 a collage of pictures related to South Korea.