participles used as adjectives

  • We can often use participles as adjectives.
      It was a very tiring meeting.
      There are broken toys ail over the floor.
      I thought the film was pretty boring.
      You look terribly frightened.
  • Don’t confuse pairs of words like tiring and tired, interesting and interested, boring and bored, exciting and excited.
      The present participle ( . . . -ing) has an active meaning: if something is interesting it interests you
      The past participle ( . . . -ed) has a passive meaning: an interested person is interested by (or in) something.

    Compare:

      I thought the lesson was interesting.
      I was interested in the lesson.
      (NOT I was interesting in the lesson.)
      Sheila’s party was pretty boring.
      I went home early because I felt bored.
      It was an exciting story.
      When I read it I felt excited
      The explanation was confusing I got confused.
      It was a tiring day. It made me tired
  • There are a few exceptional past participles which can have active meanings. The most important:
      fallen rocks a retired army officer a grown-up daughter an escaped prisoner