Know if you are borED or borING

bored cat
The cat seems bored

What happens if you make a mistake with "bored" and "boring"? 

Both words are adjective forms of the root word bore, but that’s where the similarity ends. For instance, if you’re in a meeting and your colleague yawns, it would be a big mistake to say, “I think she is boring.” What you mean to say is, "I think she is bored." Your colleague would be angry if you said she is a boring person.

So, what's the difference?

Adjectives ending in "-ing"describe the thing or person that causes a feeling in others.

  • This book is interesting.
  • She thought the view from the top floor was amazing.

The "-edending, on the other hand, describes how someone feels about something.

  • She is interested in this book.
  • He was amazed at the view.

If we make a mistake with our word choice, the person who is feeling the emotion changes. So in the first example, if your colleague is bored, they are feeling the emotion. On the other hand, if they are boring, then they make people around them feel bored.

In this picture, the book is interesting, and the girl is interested

The book is interesting and the girl is interested

One last example: if you say, "I am disgusted with this salad," you are expressing your displeasure with a poorly made salad. If you say, "I am disgusting with this salad," you are describing your own unpleasant way of eating it—maybe with your mouth open and food falling out onto your shirt.

Think about some original sentences. When have you felt like this, and what made you feel that way? Here are some adjectives you can use:

  • excited/exciting
  • surprised/surprising
  • annoyed/annoying
  • confused/confusing
  • disappointed/disappointing
  • exhausted/exhausting
  • frightened/frightening
  • shocked/shocking

The good news is, even though these two forms can seem confusing, you don’t have to be confused! Just remember, “I'm bored because it's boring."

I hope this post wasn't boring, and I hope you aren't either!