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summary

- Adjectives ending in -ED

- Adjectives ending in -ING

- examples

- Note for Spanish speakers

 

activities

Boring or Bored?
 
Level: Level: Basic

Boring vs Bored: active and passive adjectives

Many students get very confused about the difference between -ing and -ed adjectvies: interesting / interested...

Adjectives ending in -ED have a passive meaning (receive the action)
- A painted door = a door that has been painted
- A destroyed city = a city that has been destroyed
 
Adjectives ending in -ING have an active meaning (do the action)
- The sleeping boy =the boy that is sleeping
- Falling leaves =leaves that are falling

To remember this difference easily, just memorize this example:

A boring film makes me bored     /ə bɔ:rɪŋ fɪlm meɪks mi: bɔ:d/ 

When talking about people, remember that -ED adjectives describe the way you feel:

I'm confused, I'm excited, I'm bored, I'm terrified, I'm worried, I'm fascinated, I'm tired...

Comparing:

Politicians are very confusing, I'm always confused when I hear them.
I feel very tired, today I had a very tiring day
That book was depressing, now I feel a bit depressed
That's an astonishing painting! I'm totally astonished

Her eyes are amazing
That story was fascinating
This job is exhausting
I hate the dark, I'm frightened
I'm excited about our next trip to Viena
I need some rest, I'm totally exhausted

 

Spanish speakers are particularly confused about this difference, so let's leave some notes specially for them:

 


Note for Spanish speakers


¿Estás dormido o estás durmiendo? (what?!)

El problema para los españoles es que la forma activa casi no existe en nuestro idioma (sólo se conserva en algunos pocos casos como "La Bella Durmiente"= The Sleeping Beauty). Solemos usar la forma pasiva para ambas situaciones:
- don't disturb the sleeping boy =no molestes al niño dormido (pero en español "dormido" puede significar que está durmiendo o que ha sido dormido)
Pero al expresarlo en inglés hay que tener muy en cuenta si la idea es activa o pasiva porque el significado cambia totalmente:
 
recibo - I'm bored = estoy aburrido (algo me ha aburrido a mí)
actúo   - I'm boring = soy aburrido (yo aburro a los demás)
- I'm bored because this film is very boring = estoy aburrido porque esta película es muy aburrida
- Interesting books make interested readers = los libros interesantes logran lectores "interesados" (que tienen interés)
 
En algunos casos el español tiene la doble forma de adjetivo, como el inglés:
- I'm interested in your story =estoy interesado en tu historia
- Your story is very interesting =tu historia es muy interesante
 
Pero habitualmente la forma en español es la misma (en estos casos lo que suele cambiar en español es el verbo "ser" o "estar":
 
- That's a tiring journey =es un viaje cansado (que cansa)
- I'm very tired =estoy muy cansado (porque el viaje me ha cansado)

Date cuenta de que un adjetivo activo equivale a una oración de relativo. De hecho en inglés es frecuente utilizar una forma -ING en lugar de una oración de relativo.
 
The man talking to Paul is my teacher = The man who is talking to Paul is my teacher
(el hombre que está hablando con tu padre es mi profesor)

 

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