Many students confuse active and passive adjectives when learning English, but this is often an important distinction. Active adjectives are generally those ending in –ing and passive are those ending in –ed.
Adjectives ending in –ing have an active meaning, indicating that the noun being modified is doing the action. See some examples below:
A washing machine
The sleeping boy
The revolving door
Adjectives ending in –ed have a passive meaning, indicating that the noun being modified is receiving the action. See some examples below:
Freshly washed dishes
A painted fence
Be careful! Saying I’m boring is not the same thing as I’m bored!
To understand the difference, remember this example:
A boring movie makes me bored.
When talking about people, passive adjectives describe the way they feel.
Here are some comparisons for you to check out:
This crossword puzzle is very confusing. I’m confused by it.
This bike ride is very tiring. I am so tired!
That film was amazing! I was totally amazed by it!
Can you think of any examples of active vs. passive adjectives?