How to Use Participial Adjectives Correctly

Participial Adjectives Mini-Lesson

Let’s talk about participial adjectives. First things first, what are participial adjectives?

This fancy term describes adjectives formed using the past and present participles, otherwise known as the -ed and -ing endings.

Many non-native speakers struggle with choosing the correct ending because they are so similar. But the rule is quite easy, as you see in the image:

Use the -ing ending (the present participle) to describe the person, place or thing that causes a feeling or emotion.

For example:

  • The view is inspiring.
  • This class is exhausting.
  • Traveling to new places is exciting.
  • Cleaning my house is boring.

Use the -ed ending (the past participle) to describe the feeling or emotion that happens as a result of the person, place or thing mentioned above.

For example:

  • The view is inspiring. ➡️ I feel inspired.
  • This class is exhausting. ➡️ I am exhausted.
  • Traveling to new places is exciting.  ➡️ I am excited about my trip!
  • Cleaning my house is boring.  ➡️ I feel bored when I have to clean my house.

I hope this mini lesson helped you understand which ending to use.  When you choose the correct -ed or -ing ending, you immediately sound more natural in English.

(This photo is of the Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador. I am the photographer. 🙂 )

Want to use grammar more naturally? Click here to explore my other resources on using grammar structures like a native speaker.

2 thoughts on “How to Use Participial Adjectives Correctly”

  1. This photo is amazing! You are an excellent photographer! Thank you for your tips!


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