Boring or Bored (-ING & -ED adjectives)

Boring or Bored (-ING & -ED adjectives)

By Alena Lien, 

22 October 2020

In general, "boring" and "bored" are adjectives that are used to describe nouns.

"Boring" refers to something that is not interesting or exciting.

"Bored" means to feel unhappy and tired because something is not interesting or because you have nothing to do.

Although adjectives that end with "-ing" and "-ed" are often confused for each other, they are not interchangeable at all.



1.   -ING adjectives "cause" something; -ED adjectives "feel" something.

Adjectives that end with "-ing" describes someone or something causing an effect.

Adjectives that end with "-ed" is affected by something or someone else and would feel a certain way.

  • "Wally's job is boring, so he is bored."

  • "Wally is bored because his job is boring."

Although it would be considered rude to describe someone as "boring," you can use this to describe someone who has this effect - unfortunately.

  • "Wally can be boring sometimes when he starts talking about work."

2.   -ING adjectives + animate and inanimate; -ED adjectives + animate.

Adjectives that end with "-ing" can be used to describe animate (people and animals) and inanimate things.

Adjectives that end with "-ed" can only be used to describe animate things.

Therefore, a job can be boring but not bored. Whereas Wally can be bored and boring

Let's look at some more examples:

  • "It was surprising that he passed but I mean, everyone was surprised about the outcome."

  • "I think Eve is very interesting. But I guess you can say that about anyone who is genuinely interested in a lot of different and well, things that are interesting."

  • "The presentation was really confusing. The presenter even looked confused at certain points. Both the presentation and the presenter were confusing."

  • "It's definitely been frustrating working with the team, but I guess they were equally frustrated working with me."