Using participles to express feelings and emotions

Monday, September 15, 2014





A participle is a word formed from a verb that can be used as an adjective, and we have two types:
Present participle (e.g., annoying, inspiring, pleasing)
Past participle (e.g., annoyed, inspired, pleased).

There are many verbs in the present and past participle form that express feelings and emotions, but the meanings of their participles differ when used as adjectives.

1. The present participle (-ing form of the verb) describes people or things that cause the feeling.
- The lecture is boring. (The dull lecture causes this feeling.)

2. The past participle (-ed form of the verb) is used to say how people feel.
- When you are listening to a dull lecture, you are bored. (I am experiencing this feeling as a result of the dull lecture.)


As an English learner, using the participle incorrectly can sometimes cause embarrassment, especially when talking about yourself.

I am boring. - incorrect (You don’t want to describe yourself that way.)
I am bored. - correct (I feel bored.)

I am disappointing. - incorrect (I am a disappointing person. - Don’t talk about yourself like that.)
I am disappointed. - correct (I feel disappointed.)

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

I feel satisfied after eating pizza. (I am experiencing this feeling as a result of eating pizza.)
The pizza was satisfying. (The pizza caused this satisfying feeling.)


Here are some verbs that express feelings and emotions when in participle form:

amaze, amuse, annoy, astonish, bore, calm, challenge, comfort, compel, confuse, depress, devastate, disappoint, disgust , distract, disturb, embarrass, encourage, entertain, excite, fascinate, frighten , frustrate, infuriate, inspire, insult , intimidate, interest, mystify, please, puzzle, refresh, relax, satisfy, shock, sicken, stimulate, surprise, tempt, terrify, threaten, thrill, tire, worry

How do you feel after reading this post? Encouraged? Satisfied? Pleased?

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