Participle adjectives

Participle adjectives are made from verbs with either an -ing (present participle)  or an -ed (past participle) on the end.  How do you know which one to use?  There are 3 parts to that answer.

First, if the participle adjective is a feeling, then put -ing on the end if something gives you or somebody else that feeling and -ed on the end if you or somebody else have that feeling.  -ING = give the feeling.  -ED = have the feeling

That is a boring game.  (The game gives me the feeling of boredom.)
I’m bored with that game.  (I have the feeling of boredom.)
That lecture was interesting.  (The lecture gave me the feeling of interest.)
I was interested in the lecture.  (I had the feeling of interest.)
Her photo was embarrassing.  (The photo gave her that feeling.)
She was embarrassed by the photo.  (She had that feeling.)
The book that he read was depressing.  (The book gave him that feeling.)
He was depressed after reading the book.  (He had that feeling.)

Secondly, there are participle adjectives that are not feelings.  To use these correctly, ask yourself if the object does the verb.  If the answer is yes, then put -ing on the end (present participle.)  If the answer is no, then use the past participle.  Remember that some past participles are irregular and don’t have -ed on the end.

The losing team rode home in silence.  (Did the team lose something?  Yes – the game.)
The lost dog was finally found.  (Did the dog lose something?  No.)
He put on two coats in the freezing weather.  (Did the weather freeze something?  Yes – everything outside.)
He tried to warm his frozen hands.  (Did his hands freeze something?  No.)
The circling bees stung him many times.  (Were the bees circling?  Yes – they were circling him.)
The circled words were all misspelled.  (Did the words circle something?  No.)

Thirdly, if something is happening at that same time, then it is the present participle (-ing), but if it happened before, if it was already finished, then it is the past participle (-ed).

She heard the sound of boiling water.  (The water was boiling at that time.)
The boiled water was very hot.  (The water had finished boiling.)
The falling snow made driving hazardous.  (The snow was falling at that time.)
The fallen snow was already starting to melt.  (The snow had already fallen.)
The opening curtains made a squeaking sound.  (The curtains were opening.)
The opened curtains signaled that someone was at home..  (The curtains were already open.)

Here is a list of participle adjectives and the verbs they came from:

amaze                                  amazed                                         amazing
amuse                                  amused                                         amusing
annoy                                   annoyed                                       annoying
boil                                         boiled                                            boiling
bore                                       bored                                             boring
circle                                     circled                                           circling
close                                     closed                                            closing
confuse                               confused                                      confusing
delight                                 delighted                                      delightful *
depress                               depressed                                    depressing
disappoint                         disappointed                              disappointing
embarrass                         embarrassed                              embarrassing
excite                                   excited                                           exciting
exhaust                               exhausted                                    exhausting
fall                                         fallen                                               falling
fascinate                            fascinated                                    fascinating
frighten                              frightened                                   frightening
freeze                                  frozen *                                         freezing
frustrate                            frustrated                                    frustrating
horrify                                horrified                                        horrifying
interest                              interested                                    interesting
intimidate                         intimidated                                 intimidating
lose                                       lost                                                   losing
open                                     opened                                          opening
please                                  pleased                                          pleasing
puzzle                                  puzzled                                          puzzling
satisfy                                  satisfied                                        satisfying
scare                                     scared                                            scary *
shock                                    shocked                                        shocking
startle                                  startled                                         startling
surprise                              surprised                                      surprising
terrify                                  terrified                                        terrifying
tire                                        tired                                                tiring
upset                                   upset *                                           upsetting
worry                                  worried                                         worrying

* = irregular forms

Study this lesson, and when you think you’re ready, do the following exercise.

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© 2013 Ambien Malecot