Adjectives with '-ed' & '-ing'

Past participle and present participle adjectives

· Grammar

Adjectives qualify nouns, in other words, they tell us what the noun is like. If you say "a red house," red is your adjective. It is an adjective of colour. You could also have said... "A brick house," where brick is your adjective (of material). We can use several adjectives to describe the same noun: "A red brick house." Please visit this post to learn about or revise how several adjectives are used on the same noun.

Now, "-ed and -ing" adjectives work the same way. For instance, take excited, an -ed adjective. I'm excited (do you remember the Pointer Sisters singing "I'm so excited?" This means that the action of the verb 'to excite') is happening inside me, I am the one feeling and experiencing it. As James says in the video below, the receiver of the action.

But with exciting, it is not me who is being described but the origin of the excitement. I'm excited because the football match is exciting. The football match is the doer of the action. The same is true of tired/tiring (She's tired because her job is tiring), bored/boring, surprised/surprising, and so on.

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