Adjectives ending in ED and ING

English Grammar Notes

There are many adjectives that we have in English that end in -ED or -ING.
Yes, that's correct, they are not only endings that we use for verbs!

An adjective that ends in -ING is used to describe: the characteristic of a person or a thing.

An adjective that ends in -ED is used to describe: a feeling.

Compare the difference:

  • My girlfriend is bored. - (My girlfriend feels bored)
  • My girlfriend is boring. - (My girlfriend is a boring person)

You can use these adjectives to describe people or situations but be careful that you are using the correct adjective. For example, there is a big difference in meaning between:

  • I am confused. - (I don't understand something)
  • I am confusing. - (I will cause you to be confused)

Of course, you could also find both adjectives in the same sentence. Then you really need to concentrate on the intent / context of the sentence.


  • I was shocked by how shocking the accident was last night.
  • They were frightened by the frightening roller-coaster ride!
  • I am annoyed by how annoying that person in front of us is.
  • Sally was confused by the confusing street signs in the city.

Note that the sentences above are to highlight how both adjectives can appear in the same sentence though it isn't common (because it sounds repetitive).

Also see our article about the Pronunciation of words ending in -ED.

List of Adjectives ending in -ED and -ING

There is quite a long list of adjectives ending in -ED and -ING in English, and most of them are based on a verb that can be changed into an adjective by adding either -ED or -ING.

Some of the more common ones include:

  • Alarmed - Alarming
  • Aggravated - Aggravating
  • Amused - Amusing
  • Annoyed - Annoying
  • Astonished - Astonishing
  • Astounded - Astounding
  • Bored - Boring
  • Captivated - Captivating
  • Challenged - Challenging
  • Charmed - Charming
  • Comforted - Comforting
  • Confused - Confusing
  • Convinced - Convincing
  • Depressed - Depressing
  • Disappointed - Disappointing
  • Discouraged - Discouraging
  • Disgusted - Disgusting
  • Distressed - Distressing
  • Disturbed - Disturbing
  • Embarrassed - Embarrassing
  • Encouraged - Encouraging
  • Entertained - Entertaining
  • Excited - Exciting
  • Exhausted - Exhausting
  • Fascinated - Fascinating
  • Frightened - Frightening
  • Frustrated - Frustrating
  • Fulfilled - Fulfilling
  • Gratified - Gratifying
  • Inspired - Inspiring
  • Insulted - Insulting
  • Interested - Interesting
  • Moved - Moving
  • Overwhelmed - Overwhelming
  • Perplexed - Perplexing
  • Pleased - Pleasing
  • Relaxed - Relaxing
  • Relieved - Relieving
  • Satisfied - Satisfying
  • Shocked - Shocking
  • Sickened - Sickening
  • Soothed - Soothing
  • Surprised - Surprising
  • Tempted - Tempting
  • Terrified - Terrifying
  • Threatened - Threatening
  • Thrilled - Thrilling
  • Tired - Tiring
  • Touched - Touching
  • Troubled - Troubling
  • Unsettled - Unsettling
  • Worried - Worrying

Next activity

Check out our interactive game to practice: Adjectives ending in -ED and -ING

Check out our grammar notes about Compound Adjectives which sometimes contain both adjectives and adverbs.

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Last Updated: 02 December 2014
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