Free worksheet to learn about -ed and -ing adjectives for ESL teachers and students. (Free download available.)

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‘My holiday was relaxing. I felt really relaxed.’

Few, but common, adjectives end in either -ed or -ing:

worried/worrying, interested/interesting, excited/exciting

-ed Adjectives

Adjectives that end in -ed are used to describe how people feel:
‘He was surprised to find that he had been upgraded to first class.’
‘I was confused by the findings of the report.’
‘She felt tired after working hard all day.’

-ing Adjectives

Adjectives that end in -ing are used to describe things and situations. Compare these example sentences to the ones above:
‘Being upgraded to first class is surprising.’
The findings of this report are confusing.’
‘Working hard all day is tiring.’

Example Table

Feel ‘-ed’describe ‘-ing’
annoyedannoying
boredboring
ConfusedChallengedConfusingchallenging
depresseddepressing
excitedexciting
frustratedfrustrating
frightenedfrightening
satisfiedsatisfying
ShockedScaredShockingscary

Exercise one: Use the Correct Adjective

Now complete the sentences below using the correct adjective

  • Dogs often feel ___ during fireworks.
  • frightening
  • frightened
  • The CTA  can be ___ the first time you use it.
  • confused
  • confusing
  • Satoru was ___ to hear about the earthquake.
  • shocked
  • shocking
  • I think that rainy days in winter are ___.
  • depressing
  • depressed
  • She’s ___ of doing the same thing every day.
  • boring
  • bored
  • I was so___________ to go on vacation. 
  • exciting
  • excited
  • The meals at Cheesecake Factory  are ___. 
  • satisfied
  • satisfying

Exercise two: Writing: My First Day Essay

I want you to describe your first day doing something challenging. You could write about your first day in the United States, your first day at school, your first day at university or high school or your first day at a new job.

How did you feel? Where you excited, frightened or bored?

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