Interesting v. Interested

Interesting and Interested are both adjectives, but their endings give them different meanings.

Generally, -ing adjectives describe what something is, and -ed adjectives explain a feeling about something.

For example

I am interesting. =  People love to listen to me!

I am interested.  = I want to know more about this.

That’s exciting!  =  How cool!

We’re excited!  =  We can’t wait!


You can see that -ed adjectives are always used for a person or something with feeling.

This English book is confusing. = I don’t understand this book.

My English teacher is confusing.  = I don’t understand my teacher.

I am confused about this English book. = I don’t understand this book.

My English teacher is confused.  = My teacher doesn’t understand something.


Common errors are:
  • Using -ed with objects.

That movie is so frightened.  – Movies aren’t scared. They are scary.

  •  Using -ing to describe yourself.

When I watched that movie, I was frightening. – I am not scary. I was scared


Here are some common -ing and -ed adjectives

Feelings Descriptions
amazed amazing
amused amusing
annoyed annoying
bored boring
challenged challenging
concerned concerning
confused confusing
depressed depressing
disappointed disappointing
disgusted disgusting
embarrassed embarrassing
excited exciting
exhausted exhausting
frustrated frustrating
inspired inspiring
interested interesting
moved moving
relaxed relaxing
surprised surprising
shocked shocking
tired tiring
worried worrying


Practice with this worksheet

Adjectives.Interested-v-Interesting.Practice (Pdf)



Use the Find feature (Ctrl+F) to look for -ing and -ed adjectives. Think about which of these sentences the word can be used in:

How _________!  (-ing)

I’m ________! (-ed)


Teachers: Download a printer-friendly copy of this page and instructor guide.

Adjectives.Interested-v-Interesting.Grammar (pdf)

Adjectives.Interested-v-Interesting.Instructor (pdf)


Are you interested in learning more?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s