Adjectives ending in ed and ing

Adjectives ending in ed and ing

This post looks at adjectives ending in  ed or ing.  For example, look at the following sentences.  Can you see the difference between the two sentences?  They both contain an adjective from the verb ‘confuse’ but the endings are different.


English learners are often confused by adjectives. 

English learners often think that adjectives are confusing. 


Confused and confusing are both adjectives.  However, they are used in different situations.  This post explains when to use ‘ed’ and when to use ‘ing’.

For example:

I was bored.  The film was really boring.

Below is a list of some of the most common adjectives that can take either the ‘ed’ or ‘ing’ form.


VERB                          ‘ed’ adjective           ‘ing’ adjective


aggravate                            aggravated                         aggravating

alarm                                   alarmed                               alarming

amaze                                  amazed                                amazing

amuse                                  amused                               amusing

annoy                                  annoyed                             annoying

astonish                            astonished                        astonishing

bore                                     bored                                    boring

challenge                         challenged                          challenging

confuse                             confused                             confusing

convince                          convinced                           convincing

depress                            depressed                           depressing

disappoint                     disappointed                   disappointing

disgust                             disgusted                           disgusting

embarrass                     embarrassed                   embarrassing

encourage                     encouraged                      encouraging

excite                                excited                                exciting

exhaust                         exhausted                           exhausting

frighten                        frightened                          frightening

frustrate                       frustrated                          frustrating

interest                         interested                          interesting

please                             pleased                               pleasing

relax                                relaxed                               relaxing

satisfy                             satisfied                            satisfying

shock                              shocked                            shocking

terrify                             terrified                           terrifying

tire                                    tired                                   tiring

worry                               worried                           worrying


Adjective + ‘ed’

These describe how a person feels.

He often felt tired and depressed so he made an appointment to see the doctor.

The little boy was terrified of clowns.

I am disappointed that you can’t come to the wedding because  I was looking forward to seeing you there.

It was the best holiday ever! I felt totally relaxed all week. 

I’m so frustrated with my boss. 


Adjective + ‘ing’

These describe the thing or person that makes you feel the emotion. 


He told his doctor that his work was really tiring and depressing.

The little boy thinks clowns are terrifying.

You can’t come to the wedding?  That is so disappointing .  I was looking forward to seeing you there.

It was the best holiday ever!  It was so relaxing.

My boss is so frustrating.

adjectives ending in ed and ing


Using enough: Learn English grammar


This post looks at a word that is often confusing for many learners. The word enough is sometimes difficult for learners because it is a word that can be used in several different ways. ‘Enough’ can be used an adjective or an adverb.


Using enough with adjectives and adverbs

Word position: adjective or adverb + enough

 His painting wasn’t good enough to win the competition but he did come second.

We didn’t leave early enough and we missed the train.

I’m afraid I haven’t been to the gym enough lately.  I have put on a bit of weight!

I ran after them but I couldn’t run fast enough to catch up with them.

 Using enough with nouns

Word position: enough + noun

I’m exhausted. I haven’t had enough sleep.

Have you got enough money to pay for your ticket?

Is there enough milk or do I need to go to the shop?

I don’t have enough time. I’m sorry.

Using enough with an adjective and a noun

When enough is used with an adjective and a noun, two positions are possible but the meaning changes. Look at these two sentences.


We haven’t got big enough plates.  They’re all too small!

Meaning: The plates we have are too small. We need bigger plates.

We haven’t got enough big plates. We need some more!

Meaning: We have some big plates but we don’t have as many as we need.


When enough comes between the adjective and the noun (big enough plates) it qualifies the adjective.

When enough comes before the adjective it qualifies the noun phrase.

Enough of

We don not use enough of unless there is a determiner. We use enough of when there is a determiner (an article, this/that, my/your/his etc).

  • I’ve had enough of your noise, keep quiet! ‘Your’ is a determiner here.
  • I haven’t seen enough of the film to really form an opinion.

Enough can also be used without a noun.

  • That’s enough! Stand still!
  • Enough is enough.

Thank you for reading this post on the word enough.

Business Phrasal Verbs: Learn English Vocabulary

Business Phrasal Verbs

This post looks at phrasal verbs, in particular, business phrasal verbs.  A phrasal verb is a phrase describing a usually single worded verb in more than one word.  They can be made using a verb and an adverb or a proposition, or both.

business phrasal verbs The English Tower learn English

Phrasal verbs are not usually used in formal, academic writing or business contracts. 


Phrasal Verbs




Branch out

Expand a business (often into a different area of trade/business)



Our range of sports equipment is selling well. We thought we might branch out into sportswear. 



Back up

Make a copy of files etc on a computer



Don’t forget to back everything up before you leave tonight.



Call back

Return a telephone call


I’m afraid she’s in a meeting.  Can I ask her to call you back?



Call off

Cancel or stop something from happening



We need to call off tomorrow’s trip to Head Office. The boss is ill.



Carry on



I don’t think we can carry on with our plans to buy the new factory.



Carry out

Do something (especially something you said you would do)



We can’t stop now.  We need to carry out the plans to build a new office. 


Come up with




Think of (usually an idea, plan or suggestion)


Can anyone come up with an idea for the Christmas party this year?


Deal with

Meet or talk to someone (usually as part of your job)



I had to deal with some very difficult clients today.  I’m exhausted.



Fill out/in

Complete a form


He needs to fill out an application form.



Hold on



Can you hold on, please, I need to get my diary.



Lay off

To make someone redundant


The company is losing money. I hope they don’t have to lay anybody off.




Note down

Make a note of something/write something down



I forgot to take a note of his name and address.


Run out of

To use/finish/sell all of something



We’ve run out of envelopes. Can you order some, please?


Set up

Formally establish a new company, business or system



He set up his own business five years ago. I think he is a website designer.




Set up (2)



Organise an event or activity that is going to happen



Can you set up a meeting with the directors for next Monday?



Take on





We have taken on six new members of staff in the last four months.



Take over



Take control of


Our company has been taken over by a big American corporation.



Take up



Occupy/fill time


I hope I haven’t taken up too much of your time!



Weigh up



Have you weighed up all the possibilities?

Thank you for reading Business Phrasal Verbs.  Why not try

Phrasal verbs with take: learn English grammar and vocabulary

Classroom and learning phrasal verbs

Articles: Definite and Indefinite, using a, an, and the

Indefinite and definite articles: A, an, the


This post looks at when we use a, an and the. We call A and AN ‘indefinite articles’ because they describe something that is not definite; not specific.  They are used to describe a general thing not a particular thing. THE is a ‘definite article’.  Therefore, listener and speaker both know which thing the speaker is talking about.

A AN THE The English Tower Learn English

Indefinite Articles: Using A and An

We use a or an to talk about singular countable nouns (one noun that you can count), for example:

A dog, a hospital, a thought, a letter, a dream, a neighbour, a wedding, a house,

Continue reading Articles: Definite and Indefinite, using a, an, and the

Classroom and learning phrasal verbs

Phrasal verbs about the classroom and learning

 (by guest: Lizzie Gregory)


This post looks at phrasal verbs used to talk about activities in the classroom and learning.  classroom and learning phrasal verbsAt the end is a quiz activity to test your skills.




Phrasal verb

Classroom and Learning


Sentence example


Work out



To learn


Work out how to use the laptop


Cross out



To erase


Cross out your name


Hand in



To submit


Hand in your homework


Look up



To search


Look up that word in the dictionary


Turn down


To lower the volume


Turn down the video, please



Turn up


To raise the volume


Turn up the video, please


Set up



To arrange/organise/make

something ready to use



Set up the hall for assembly


Throw away




Throw away your rubbish


Put off




The homework will be put off until tomorrow


Make up




Make up a poem


Sign up




Sign up to this course


Use up


Use completely


Don’t use up all of the glue


Read over




Read over your homework


Find out




Find out how to use the calculator


Classroom and learning phrasal verbs activity:

 Fill in the sentences below with the correct phrasal verb from the table above


1) For her English homework, Mary had to _____ a story about life on Mars

2) John was asked to_____ the classroom for a meeting

3) Students should always _____their work to check for mistakes

4) My science teacher wants me to _____ why the sea is blue

5) _____ any mistakes

6) I need to _____ my geography homework

7) The teacher told me not to _____ all the glue

8) The teacher wanted to _____ the homework

9) We must _____ our rubbish at the end of class

10) I must _____ for my new course



Classroom and learning phrasal verbs: answers

1)  Make up

2) Set up

3) Read over

4) Find out

5) Cross out

6) Hand in

7) Use up

8) Put off

9) Throw away

10) Sign up

Learn English: Agatha Christie


Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

Early life

 Agatha Christie was born on 15th September 1890 in Torquay, Devon, England.  Her family lived in a large house and money was not a problem for the Christies.  Agatha did not go to school.  Instead she was taught at home by her parents and a governess*.  She was an intelligent child who taught herself to read. Her father died when Agatha was only 11 years-old although money was a worry for her mother, Clara,  they managed to survive.*


Continue reading Learn English: Agatha Christie

Giving Advice: Learn English Vocabulary

Giving Advice

This post looks at ways of offering someone advice.  We often use groups of words in conversation for example: ‘If I were you’ or ‘Have you tried..?’  This post looks at some of the most common expressions we use when giving someone advice.

Why don’t you look at the examples below and practice giving someone advice using the expressions below?  Ask yourself ‘What would you recommend?’


Beginners – Intermediate

  1. You could …….
  2. You should ……
  3. I think/I really think you must/should …
  4. You probably/definitely/really should …
  5. You could try (verb + ing)
  6. Have you tried (verb + ing)
  7. Why not ….?
  8. One thing you could/should/have to/must do is …
  9. My suggestion/advice is …
  10. Why don’t you …?
  11. It’s usually a good idea to ….
  12. The most important thing is to …..
  13. If I were/was you, I would ….
  14. You had better …

Continue reading Giving Advice: Learn English Vocabulary

Learn English Grammar: The verb ‘BE’

This post looks at the verb ‘to be’. It is an irregular verb.  It is different to regular verbs and learners will need to learn the different forms.

This article looks at:

1: The verb ‘to be’ in present and past simple and continuous sentences.

2: The verb ‘to be’ when used in passive sentences.

3: The verb ‘to be’ in the subjunctive.

4: Be in the continuous form ‘being’. Continue reading Learn English Grammar: The verb ‘BE’

Bonfire Night 5th November: Learn British Culture

Bonfire Night – 5th of November

‘Remember, remember, the fifth of November,

Gunpowder, treason and plot..’

 These are the opening lines of an English nursery rhyme from around 1870.  This post looks at the history of Bonfire Night…

(words with * are explained at the end.  Full poem below)

Bonfire Night is also known as Fireworks’ Night or Guy Fawkes Night. It is a British tradition* that began in 1605. A group of thirteen Catholic men wanted to destroy the Houses of Parliament and kill the king, James 1.  King James was a protestant and many Catholics believed that the King should also be Catholic.  They wanted to kill him and replace him with a Catholic leader. 

Continue reading Bonfire Night 5th November: Learn British Culture

Phrasal verbs with take: learn English grammar and vocabulary

Phrasal verbs with take


This post looks at everyday expressions and phrasal verbs with take.  Phrasal verbs are a phrase of two or more words, usually a verb and a preposition or a verb, adverb and prepositions.  In English there are many phrasal verbs with take and they often have a more ‘formal’ equivalent. e.g.  take after somebody = to resemble



Take after somebody


 = To look like or behave like another member of the family

It seems like she takes after her father.  He used to be really good at chess too.


The twins also take after their mother. They both have the same dark brown hair and the same nose.


Take apart


= To separate something in to parts


When my daughter was young she used to take everything apart because she wanted to see how things worked.


Take care of something or something


= To be responsible for somebody or something


Would you mind also taking care of our cat while we’re on holiday as well as the hamster?


Take it out of somebody


= Make someone very tired


That run really took it out of me so I’m probably going to have a bath and relax for a bit.

Continue reading Phrasal verbs with take: learn English grammar and vocabulary