Participial Adjectives


Most present and past participle forms of verbs that describe emotion or feelings can be used as adjectives, but the meanings of the participles are not the same. For example:

A fresh ocean breeze on a hot summer day is refreshing, so I feel refreshed.

The present participle (-ing form of the verb) refers to something or somebody that causes the feeling:

The breeze is refreshing. (The breeze causes this feeling.)

The past participle (-ed form of the verb) is used to express how a person is affected by something.

I feel refreshed. (I am experiencing this feeling as a result of the breeze.)

Note that you cannot use the past participle/–ed form with things because things do not have emotions.

The following are some of the most common verbs expressing feelings and emotions and their present and past particpial forms.

Verb Present Participle (-ing) Past Participle (-ed)
astonish astonishing astonished
bore boring bored
challenge challenging challenged
comfort comforting comforted
compel compelling compelled
depress depressing depressed
devastate devastating devastated
disappoint disappointing disappointed
excite exciting excited
inspire inspiring inspired
Verb Present Participle (-ing) Past Participle (-ed)
intimidate intimidating intimidated
interest interesting interested
mystify mystifying mystified
puzzle puzzling puzzled
satisfy satisfying satisfied
shock shocking shocked
surprise surprising surprised
tempt tempting tempted
threaten threatening threatened
tire tiring tired

Here are some other common verbs which follow the same pattern to express feelings and emotions:

amaze, amuse, annoy, calm, confuse, disgust , distract, disturb, embarrass, encourage, entertain, fascinate, frighten , frustrate, infuriate, insult , please, refresh, relax, sicken, stimulate, surprise, terrify , thrill, worry

When you are sure that you understand the lesson, you can continue with the exercises.