Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!

Adjectives ending with -ing or -ed

Adjectives ending with -ing or -ed

Date: Oct 12 2008

Topic: Grammar

Author: nad1a


MySpace Tracker

ADJECTIVES: -ing/ -ed

Generally said -ing adjectives have an active meaning, describing someone that is doing something (acting) or something that is causing something to us (making us feel in a certain way or giving us some kind of impression etc).

While adjectives ending with -ed have a passive meaning, describing someone 'receiving' some kind of action, made to feel in a certain way or given an impression.

To make it clearer, let's take a look at the following examples:

a talking clock

a singing bird

a winning team

a laughing child

They all 'do' something – the clock is talking, the bird is singing, the team is winning, the child is crying. The adjectives with 'ing, here, have an active meaning. So, 'talking', 'singing', winning' and laughing' are used to describe an action.

Now look at these examples with adjectives ending in -ed/ past participle:

a smashed window.

a painted box.

a lost child

a surprised look

These adjectives are used with a passive meaning. Something has been done to them (the window, the box) or something/someone has caused them to be in a certain state (the child, the look) or feel in a certain way. That is, the person or thing we are describing here is a 'passive participant' in the action. They are not doing anything, but they are “done” something. So the adjectives smashed, painted , lost , surprised describe states or feelings as a result of something done – the window has been smashed, the box has been painted, child has been lost, the person was surprised so he gave/had a surprised a look.

Here are some more examples:

She is annoyed.

I am interested in photography.

Everyone was excited during the game.

We all feel relaxed after the holiday we had.

The -ed ending implies a certain feeling. She is feeling annoyed, I feel interested in photography etc

Whereas the adjectives with -ing used here ...

The noise is annoying.

I find photography an interesting subject.

It was an exciting tennis match.

We're having a relaxing holiday.

... are used to describe the thing or the person that produces those feelings (the noise is making me feel annoyed, so it is annoying, photography provokes an interest in me, so it is interesting etc)

You can practice those with friends:

If you find an interest in art, art is interesting to you or you are interested in art.

If the news you heard has shocked you, then you were ... by the news you heard, or the news was ... .

If the story you have been told has amused you , the story must have been very .... .

If someone didn't show up for an appointment you had, and that was a surprise to you, then it was ... that they did not show up.

If you do not like football and you feel that it bores you, then you can say that you find football very ... . (which is not at all my case, as a matter of fact :-P)

Well, that was all for now. Hope it was helpful.


Log in to Comment




hi Mss.Nadia.here i m confused a little like when ever we want to inform some one we address them like please be informed some time please be inform.please if u can explain it.


05:03 PM Nov 21 2009 |

Ryan Yam

Hong Kong

I am not sure the answer of the last two questions

Is it

If someone didn't show up for an appointment you had, and that was a surprise to you, then it was suprised that they did not show up.

If you do not like football and you feel that it bores you, then you can say that you find football very bored

09:12 AM Aug 07 2009 |



Saudi Arabia

thanks alot….

09:39 PM Jul 23 2009 |


Virgin Islands, U.S.

are you a grammar teacher? you show to know what you're talking about 

great job

02:26 PM Jan 28 2009 |



You are gifted Nadia. thank you . you are a great help.  and a great friend.

07:31 AM Dec 12 2008 |



Very good!! Superb!!! Gracias por esta excelente lección. Te felicito.!!!

12:58 PM Dec 05 2008 |



Czech Republic

very understandable, so it seems to be so easy…

03:36 PM Nov 21 2008 |



Very Very good i like this lession so much

07:32 AM Nov 11 2008 |




Nad1a, thanks for this lesson, very usefull!

02:49 PM Nov 09 2008 |




a great lesson from a fabulous lady

10:10 PM Nov 08 2008 |




Like, I am getting frustrated trying to get your attention, and this is a frustrating situation;)

10:03 PM Nov 08 2008 |




and you're the best student i've ever had. wish you luck with your exam and fulfill that dream of yours:-)

01:10 PM Nov 01 2008 |

Likes (14):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast