TESOL/Perceiver and perceived

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"I was boring at the party." Why is this funny?

In English, a word may describe how the speaker is perceived by others, or the impression that others have of the speaker, but not both.

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

Endings[edit | edit source]

In English, words that describe our impression of something outside of us often end in -ed, and words that describe the impression we make on other people often end in -ing.

Perceived Perceiver
The party was boring. I was bored at the party.
Ghosts are scary. I am scared of ghosts.
Roller coasters are exciting. I am excited.
This job is challenging. I am challenged by this job.

Other examples[edit | edit source]

Other words follow no particular pattern in their spelling.

  • That test is hard. I am hard.
  • My job is stressful. I am stressful.

Quiz[edit | edit source]

1 That is a - explanation.


2 When I go to a concert I am - .


3 Yesterday I was very - when I saw the news.