Using the word boring instead of bored is a common mistake for English Learners. If someone who is learning English stays home all day and does not do anything very fun or interesting, you might hear her say “I was boring.” This is not what she meant to say. She meant to say “I was bored.” If she says “I was boring” she is calling herself a boring person. This is a strange thing to say about yourself. If she says “I was bored” she is saying that doing nothing made her bored. There was nothing fun or interesting going on.
Boring is an –ing adjective that describes a thing or person that causes this feeling. Bored is an –ed adjective that describes the person that feels the effect of this feeling.
Let’s look at more examples of this.
These students are bored because the teacher is boring.
These people are excited because the roller coaster is exciting.
This driver is confused because the map is confusing.
The –ing adjective describes a thing/person that is doing something to someone. It describes the active noun.
- The teacher bores the student. He is a boring teacher.
- The roller coaster excites the people. It is an exciting roller coaster.
- The map confuses the driver. It is a confusing map.
The –ed adjective describes a thing/person that is receiving the action. It describes the passive noun.
- The student was bored by the teacher. He is a bored student.
- The people were excited by the roller coaster. They are excited people.
- The driver was confused by the map. She is a confused driver.
These adjectives come from verbs. The verb changes to an –ing adjective to describe the subject of the sentence. The verb changes to an –ed adjective to describe the object.
The monster is frightening.
The child is frightened.
The child is _________________.
The passenger is _______________________.