Common Mistakes: -ed or -ing for adjectives describing feelings
CommonMistakes
Common Mistakes: -ed or -ing for adjectives describing feelings

As you may know, in addition to writing this blog, I also teach English at University. I recently had an interesting conversation with a student after class, and it went like this: Student: ‘I’m so boring.’ Sophie: ‘I’m sure that’s not true. You do lots of interesting things and you always say interesting things in our class discussions.’ Student: ‘Yes, but that is because I like you and I want to help you with the lesson, but I’m really just boring all the time.’ Sophie: ‘Well, thank you! But I don’t think that you can describe a kind person as boring and I certainly think you have a lot to offer. Student: ‘What are you talking about?’ Sophie: ‘What are YOU talking about?’ Student: ‘I want to change class because I’m boring. I want to go to a higher level.’ Sophie: ‘Oh!!! You mean you’re bored?!?’ Student: ‘Yes!’ Sophie: ‘Well, ok, maybe we can talk about you changing levels, but not before we have fixed your problem with adjective forms!!!’ I remembered this conversation a few days later when I started planning this blog and was looking for ideas on the theme of ‘common mistakes’ because my student isn’t alone in getting confused about the difference between ‘bored’ and ‘boring’ and similar words such as ‘excited’ and ‘exciting’, ‘interested’ and ‘interesting’, ‘exhausted’ and ‘exhausting’.  My student has now moved up a level and we found an explanation that helped her remember the difference between -ed and -ing for ‘feeling’ adjectives very easily. So, if you have the same problem, let’s see if we can fix it now! Here it is, our rule-of-thumb which works for most feeling adjectives with an -ed and -ing form: -ed = have the feeling -ing = cause the feeling So, for example:  ‘I am bored with this song now, I have heard it ten times today.’ (I have the feeling.) ‘This class is boring.’ (It caused boredom. It makes me feel bored.)   ‘I am completely exhausted! I’ve just spent 2 hours in the gym!’ (I feel tired.) ‘Long distance journeys are exhausting.’ (They make me feel tired.)   (Click to enlarge) Want to find out more about common mistakes at IELTS and how to avoid them? I can recommend the common mistakes books for intermediate or advanced depending on your intended band score. Sophie

Sophie Hodgson

28 August, 2020

Common Mistakes: -ed or -ing for adjectives describing feelings

Common Mistakes: -ed or -ing for adjectives describing feelings

As you may know, in addition to writing this blog, I also teach English at University.

I recently had an interesting conversation with a student after class, and it went like this:

Student: ‘I’m so boring.’

Sophie: ‘I’m sure that’s not true. You do lots of interesting things and you always say interesting things in our class discussions.’

Student: ‘Yes, but that is because I like you and I want to help you with the lesson, but I’m really just boring all the time.’

Sophie: ‘Well, thank you! But I don’t think that you can describe a kind person as boring and I certainly think you have a lot to offer.

Student: ‘What are you talking about?’

Sophie: ‘What are YOU talking about?’

Student: ‘I want to change class because I’m boring. I want to go to a higher level.’

Sophie: ‘Oh!!! You mean you’re bored?!?’

Student: ‘Yes!’

Sophie: ‘Well, ok, maybe we can talk about you changing levels, but not before we have fixed your problem with adjective forms!!!’

I remembered this conversation a few days later when I started planning this blog and was looking for ideas on the theme of ‘common mistakes’ because my student isn’t alone in getting confused about the difference between ‘bored’ and ‘boring’ and similar words such as ‘excited’ and ‘exciting’, ‘interested’ and ‘interesting’, ‘exhausted’ and ‘exhausting’. 

My student has now moved up a level and we found an explanation that helped her remember the difference between -ed and -ing for ‘feeling’ adjectives very easily. So, if you have the same problem, let’s see if we can fix it now!

Here it is, our rule-of-thumb which works for most feeling adjectives with an -ed and -ing form:

-ed = have the feeling

-ing = cause the feeling

So, for example: 

‘I am bored with this song now, I have heard it ten times today.’ (I have the feeling.)

‘This class is boring.’ (It caused boredom. It makes me feel bored.)

 

‘I am completely exhausted! I’ve just spent 2 hours in the gym!’ (I feel tired.)

‘Long distance journeys are exhausting.’ (They make me feel tired.)

 

Common Mistakes Language Activity - Adjectives

(Click to enlarge)

Want to find out more about common mistakes at IELTS and how to avoid them? I can recommend the common mistakes books for intermediate or advanced depending on your intended band score.

Sophie

Sophie Hodgson

Sophie has been supporting students on their IELTS journey since 2003 and feels privileged to have watched them succeed. While most people probably do not like taking tests, Sophie believes that preparing for the IELTS exam can be both interesting and fun. She loves language and structure and enjoys exploring both with her students to help them achieve their aims.

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