Adjectives: -ed or -ing? English contains numerous -ed or -ing adjective pairs derived from verbs. To avoid mixing these up,remember that the -ed adjectives are used to describe how you feel, and the -ing adjectives are used for what it is that makes you feel that way. Here are some examples:

I feel tired . – Working in the garden all day is very tiring .

I am bored . – This grammar lesson is boring .

She was disappointed . – Her math test score was disappointing .

I’m interested in Ancient Egypt. – I think Ancient Egypt is interesting .

He was shocked . – He found your behaviour shocking .

I’m very confused by this film. – This film is very confusing .

Adjective or adverb? In English most (but not all) adverbs have a different form (spelling) than their corresponding adjective. It is important, therefore, that you know whether you need an adjective or an adverb in the sentences you want to say or write. Generally, adjectives are used to describe nouns and adverbs are used with verbs to say how things are done. In the following

examples, the adjectives are red and the adverbs are blue:

He’s a beautiful singer. – He sings beautifully .

She’s a very quick runner. – She can run very quickly .

He’s a careless writer. – He writes carelessly .

She’s a good worker. – She works well .

Adverbs are also used to give extra information about adjectives (or other adverbs), as in the following examples:

I am extremely happy in my new job.

She’s in hospital with a seriously injured neck.

It’s incredibly easy to make a mistake when knitting.

The girl climbed dangerously high up the tree.

Because of the thick fog I drove extremely carefully .

After certain verbs (e.g. be, become, seem, look, taste, smell , etc.) the adjective, not the adverb, is used:

She doesn’t seem happy today.

Don’t be stupid!

This meat tastes bad.

Those flowers smell strange .


Write out five words that can be used as adjectives and adverbs.


See also



Positive statement to Negative

Rhyme Scheme

Stress and Intonation

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Fully Funded Scholarships

Free Visa, Free Scholarship Abroad

           Click Here to Apply