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Am I bored or am I boring?

Question: Dear Teacher Joe, I have a question for you. Recently while talking to a friend from Australia, I said that I feel boring, and my friend laughed at me. Maybe I should have said that I feel bored. Is that right? How can I know when to say "interesting" or "interested", "boring" or "bored"? Thank you in advance for your kind reply. Sincerely, Xiao Chen from Xi'an.

Answer: Hello Xiao Chen, thank you for your question. This is a problem that many students have in English. Actually, I had the same problem when I was learning French! The key is learn some key sentence patterns. You already know when to use the word "tired". You will always

say, "I feel tired" instead of "I feel tiring", right? Just do the same think with other words such as bored, interested, flattered or enlightened. When you feel one of these ways, use the -ed form. For example you could say the following sentences:

"I was bored listening to my teacher's lesson"

"We were all interested in his story"

"I wasn't really flattered by her kind comments"

"We were lucky to be enlightened by his explanation".

On the other hand, use the -ing form when you are referring to the cause of your feeling. Here are some examples of this pattern:

"Listening to my teacher for an hour and a half was both tiring and boring".

"His speaking style is very interesting because he speaks with so much enthusiasm".

"Although her words are very flattering, I don't like her very much".

"His explanations are always enlightening".

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